EVERETT, Wash. -- Right before people ring in the New Year, Kathi Sturgeon wants to send a warning about the dangers of drinking and driving.
On June 18th, 2008, her life changed forever because of a drunk driver.
"Sometimes you do all the right things and something bad happens," said Sturgeon.
Around ten o'clock in the morning in Eldorado Hills, California, Sturgeon and a friend were training for the Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic.
"All of a sudden both of us were hit by a car," said Sturgeon.
Behind the wheel of the car was a 19-year-old woman who police said was drunk. Sturgeon's friend received several broken bones while Sturgeon received a brain injury. Part of her skull had to be removed to give her brain room to swell. The severe trauma erased many memories.
"I was not expected to survive," said Sturgeon.
However, she is a fighter and powered through physical therapy.
"Not everybody dies. There are people like me who walk the rest of their life with injuries sustained because someone chose to drink and drive," said Sturgeon.
Because of her injuries she cannot work a full time job. She was unable to keep her California home. Today she lives in Everett so she can be closer to family. Her new normal comes with a new message.
"Don't drink and drive. Don't do it," she said.
Sturgeon is working with Mother's Against Drunk Driving to spread awareness. She also plans to work toward a special goal. She wants to complete the Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic that she never got to attempt because of the collision.
Learn more about the most recent drunk driving data in Washington here: http://www.madd.org/drunk-driving/state-stats/Washington.html