Sammy Ochoa was looking forward to a great year of football as the junior defensive tackle for Lake Travis. He was a preseason All-Central Texas Choice with a promising future, but now everything has changed. After a two-vehicle accident left Ochoa with serious injuries, doctors say that he will miss the rest of the football season.
The accident happened on Saturday when Ochoa’s 2010 Infiniti hydroplaned into an intersection and was hit on the passenger side by a 1997 pickup truck. Heavy rainstorms in the area had left roads slippery and Ochoa simply lost control of his vehicle. Both passengers involved in the accident were taken by ambulance to University Medical Center in Brackenridge. The other driver is in critical condition.
It was a tragic turn of events for Ochoa, who just one day prior helped lead his football team to a major victory over their biggest rival. As he recovers in the hospital, Ochoa told reporters that he is thankful to be alive and lucky that his seatbelt kept him from worse injuries. “It was wet on the road,” he recalled. “After I hydroplaned, I was about to get hit head-on and then I jerked the steering wheel real hard.”
The 17-year-old sustained a broken arm, a broken nose, two broken ribs, and a torn tendon in his right knee. He has already undergone surgery to repair his arm and knee, but the football player still has a long recovery ahead of him. Doctors estimate that Ochoa will spend six to eight weeks bound to a wheelchair and will be unable to return to the football field for the remainder of the season.
Ochoa told reporters that he is “heartbroken” to have to sit out the rest of the season. His team’s bid for their sixth state championship will be much more challenging without Ochoa on the field.
Car accidents are the number one cause of death in young people ages two to 34 in the United States. They are also one of the most common causes for personal injury among all ages. All drivers are at risk for accident related injuries and even those who drive with extreme caution could easily be involved in a serious or fatal accident. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that there are approximately 6 million car crashes in the United States every year.
After an accident, your first reaction will be to focus on your physical healing and the condition of your car. However, a whole additional battle is waiting for you after the accident is over. There is ongoing stress from costly medical bills, car repairs, and difficult insurance companies. If you are injured in a crash, you might be unable to work leaving you with serious financial obligations and no way to handle them.
Tampa personal injury attorneys step in during these difficult moments to help people get on the path to recovery. A good personal injury attorney in Tampa will act as your advocate, insuring that you receive the help you need to rebuild your life and overcome the financial obstacles that result from a car accident. If you are facing recovery from a car accident, contact a Tampa personal injury attorney today.