KUNA, Idaho — Canyon County sheriff’s deputies arrested a 70-year-old driver who is accused of hitting a Kuna teenager while she walked her dog in a marked crosswalk on September 2.
Joseph Jefferies is being held in the Ada County Jail on a felony charge of aggravated DUI.
Blood-alcohol tests showed Jefferies was intoxicated at the time of the crash, with a blood-alcohol content level of .096. The force of the impact knocked 16-year-old Sunshine Bryden about 70 feet down the street, an Ada County sheriff's spokesman said.
“It hit us really hard like she could've died, she probably should've died flying that far,” said Carolyn Bryden, Sunshine’s mom. “It brought tears to her eyes, it still brings tears to my eyes to think about how far she flew.”
Sunshine says the whole ordeal is still a blur.
“I don't remember any of it, I just remember the hospital and my friends came in and that's the first thing I can clearly remember,” she said. “I don't even know how to describe it, it’s just like something out of a movie."
The 16-year-old is expected to make a full recovery, but she suffered a number of injuries.
“They put a metal rod in my leg and I broke my neck and it broke just right so it snapped back into place,” Sunshine said.
She also had two open fractures in my leg and broke her tibia and fibula.
“I feel so grateful that she's alive and it just makes me want to speak out more about drunk driving,” Sunshine's mom said.
Sunshine's dog also suffered some injuries, but is now okay.