REPRINTED in part from the St. Albans Messenger
Posted on September 28, 2013 by Ann Hawksby, Messenger Correspondent
The $500 raised during a recent Zumba event is greatly appreciated by Sarah Parker, 39, of Swanton, but it pales in comparison to her desperate needs and the devastation that has shaken her life to the core.
“Sarah has already incurred well over $200,000 just in medical bills,” said her attorney, Michael J. Sabbeth.
“It was part of my bucket list,” Parker said of owning a motorcycle and riding alongside her boyfriend, John Jerome.
Parker successfully completed the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicle motorcycle-training program, bought herself a 2000 Harley Sportster, and began to enjoy evening rides with Jerome.
About three weeks later, on Aug. 1, Parker’s dream ended in a nightmare. A tragic accident left the mother of four with a severed lung, mangled legs, a gaping laceration to her chin and missing teeth.
She has undergone four complicated surgeries, is paralyzed from the waist down, and continues to suffer moderate to severe short-term memory loss.
According to the police report, Kaitlyn A. Lefebvre, 22, of Enosburg Falls, was at fault for the 4:15 Thursday night accident in August at the intersection of Route 7 and Wood Hill Road in Swanton.
To add to the tragedy, Lefebvre, driving a 2006 Ford Focus, was uninsured.
The implication is clear. “Sarah has no source of recourse,” said Sabbeth.
“That is one of the great injustices in this case, the fact that she was a driver without insurance, shows her reckless disregard for the public,” Sabbeth said of Lefebvre.
“While Sarah did have her own insurance, the policy has much less coverage than is needed,” he added.
“Sarah is a paraplegic and may remain that way for the rest of her life, and now she faces having to redesign her whole house, and who knows what will happen with her employment,” he said.
“This is a complete travesty, Vermont does have a victim’s fund, but Sarah doesn’t qualify for that, but we do intend to fight for whatever we can to help her,” Sabbeth said.