A South Florida teacher was driving back to campus after getting a gift for a student when a stolen, out-of-control U-Haul crashed into her car in Fort Lauderdale.
“I do not recall the actual accident itself,” said Shanna Smith, who is a teacher at William Dandy Middle School. “I was told that while going north on 31st Avenue, a young man who stole a U-Haul was going south, and in a police chase, and actually crossed over in the north lane and t-boned my vehicle.”
The crash happened 11 days before Christmas.
“So there’s no Christmas, no New Year’s (Eve),” Smith said from her hospital bed over a month after the crash.
Not only was she unable to spend the holidays with her loved ones and three children, but she was also left paralyzed from the waist down.
“My pelvic area is fractured on either side, upper and lower,” Smith said. “... The outlook to become ambulatory is dismal, but I have faith and I do believe that I’ll walk again.”
Police say Michael Livingston was behind the wheel of the stolen U-Haul that crashed into Smith.
She shared a message to the suspect Livingston, who remains behind bars.
“I forgive you, because I’m required to,” Smith said. “But know that you did not just change my life, you’ve impacted my three children, you’ve impacted my spouse, my family, my community as a whole, my students.”
Livingston faces several charges, including reckless driving causing serious bodily injury.
Smith’s loved ones have started a GoFundMe account to help cover the costs of her medical expenses.