Jacobs, Radosevic and Allen continue recovery from Nov. 6 crash

Josh Goodman

Nearly a month later, first-year Lindy Jacobs and sophomores Katie Radosevic and Maggie Allen are pushing forward in their recoveries from a car crash on Nov. 6. The crash occurred when an SUV driven by Allen was hit by a semi-truck when Allen attempted to make a U-turn on Hwy. 730 near I-84. The students had been on their way to PowerShift West, an environmental conference in Eugene, Ore.

Sophomore Khoa Nguyen, the fourth victim, suffered a concussion and has recovered from his injuries.

Lindy Jacobs

Jacobs suffered internal bleeding in her brain and remains in a Cognitive Level III coma as of Tuesday. At this level, she can be awake, follow simple instructions and may recognize family and friends. Jacobs is also now breathing on her own after two weeks of requiring assistance. She is scheduled to fly to New Mexico today to continue her recovery at a hospital about 100 miles from her home.

While Jacobs’ brain injuries are traumatic, her mother Elaine Jacobs hopes her brain will adapt.

“She will never be the same person that she was, but because she is young and her brain is still developing, she has a good chance to make new pathways and emerge as a new person that we will have to get to know,” Elaine Jacobs said in an e-mail.

Elaine Jacobs characterized her daughter’s recovery as “slowly improving” and hopes that Lindy will be able to return to Whitman. If Lindy returns, it will not be until next school year at earliest.

Elaine Jacobs remains optimistic.

“I’m betting on her inner spark surviving with her and hope to simply rediscover it in her in a new way,” she said. “It is an unknown path and we are just beginning the walk but we hope it will bring its own rewards.”

Katie Radosevic

Radosevic, who sustained a broken pelvis, returned to her Arizona home on Thanksgiving Day and, thanks to a faster-than-expected recovery, plans to return to Whitman for spring semester.

“I stopped physical therapy when I was released from the hospital last Thursday and just keep up with all of the exercises they taught me,” she said in an e-mail. “The scar from my clavicle surgery is healing and I will be able to use my left arm in late December . . . and I am allowed to walk on Feb. 3rd! That’s 63 days from now, but who’s counting?”

And while Radosevic remains upbeat and even decked her wheelchair in Christmas lights, she misses Whitman.

“I felt pretty settled and Whitman was my home away from home, and I get homesick easily,” she said. “But with all the cards and e-mails that have been flooding my lap, I might as well have everyone here.”

Still, Radosevic says that the hardest part of her recovery is mental.

“I’m very anxious for the day that we all step on campus to begin a new semester together,” she said. “I’m really looking forward to seeing Maggie and Khoa as soon as I return to campus. My thoughts and wishes are also with Lindy and her family as she progresses through her very long recovery.”

Maggie Allen

Allen had two permanent screws surgically implanted into her shoulder, which was broken in the crash. She returned to classes yesterday.

“I’m just glad that things are getting back to normal,” she said. “I keep hoping that the other two girls will be okay and they can soon come back to school.”

She hopes to be fully recovered from her injuries in a few months.

“The physical therapy I’m doing on my own is paying off,” she said. “[Recovery] can take up to a year, but it’s probably only going to take three to four months for me if I continue physical therapy.”