Local woman hit by drunk driver shares experience

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT)-- A Grand Junction woman wants to remind everyone to be responsible this St. Patrick's Day.

Ellie Phipps' life was changed when she was hit by a drunk driver in 2012.

"I stopped at a stoplight, and I got hit from behind. The guy never hit his brakes. He was drunk, it turned out to be his seventh DUI," Phipps said.

But this DUI did more than just break the law.

"He got out, he stumbled up to my car. He asked if I was ok, and I said no. I could immediately tell there was something wrong with my back," Phipps said.

Ellie ended up losing six vertebrae, five disks, two ribs, and half of a lung because of the accident.

"Its pretty amazing how it can turn your life upside down, and not just yours but your family members as well," Phipps said.

Colorado State Patrol says it's not just the mental punishment of a DUI, but the legal punishment can be upwards of $10,000.

"DUI consequences range everything from jail time to hefty fines, revocation of your driver's license, and possibly a towed vehicle. We'll have more troopers on the road for the holiday itself," said CSP Trooper, Tyler Mohrman.

Ellie Phipps asks the public to keep others in mind.

"It could be your brother, sister, mother or child next. And it's not worth it," Phipps said.

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