DUI trauma victim advocates against drunk driving
Lexington, Ky (WTVQ) – A traumatic boating accident altered the life of a Fayette County woman forever.
After years of surgery and rehabilitation, she’s become one of the youngest presidents for a non-profit that helps trauma victims and holds drunk drivers accountable.
“Before the crash I don’t know if I knew what drunk driving was I was a kid. But once you are a part of this club, you can never get out”, explains Alex Otte.
In the summer of 2010, Otte’s life was changed forever while vacationing on Herrington Lake with her family.
She was on a jet ski when a drunk boater going 60 mph headed towards her.
“He (the driver) was heading towards my mom and my brother my mom screamed he banked it to the left and never straightened up,” recalls Otte.
The driver hit Otte from the side and threw her off her jet ski, the boat then toppled on top of her.
Otte was airlifted to The University of Kentucky hospital where she was treated for a brain injury, a shattered jaw, a broken neck, collarbone, and shattered femurs, where she later needed her mid calf and foot amputated.
During her time in the hospital she had 8 emergency surgeries.
Up until 2019, she had two surgeries a year.
Otte says she paid a heavy price after that accident, a substantial amount more than the price that boater had to pay, which was a fine of $250 dollars.
“That is the minimum first time DUI offense in Kentucky despite the fact that it was his forth. He did not spend any time in jail and he was given a slap on the wrist and let go to re-offend, which he has done multiple times,” says Otte.
Otte’s goal in life now is to change that narrative.
In January of this year, she became one of the youngest presidents of the non-profit, Moms Against Drunk Driving, an international group that provides trauma victims and their families with services.
It also calls on drivers charged with DUI to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law every time.
Today, Alex has learned to live with her disability and embrace it as having a greater meaning than a grim tragedy.
“There is no medical reason that I survived and I’ll spend the rest of my life trying to figure out what that reason is but I choose to believe this is part of it. If I can prevent what happened to me from happening to other people then I will work the rest of my life to see that day,” says Otte.
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