College-bound football star hurt in Northland crash by suspected drunk driver

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A teenage football star bound for college on an athletic scholarship is now bound to a hospital bed after police said a suspected drunk driver hit him along a Northland interstate.

The wreck happened just before nightfall last Thursday on I-435 near the Northeast Cookingham Drive exit in Kansas City, Mo.

Bodie Eaglen, 18, and his friend had traveled from Milan, Mo., to attend a Kansas City car auction – just one day before Bodie was expected to report to Central Methodist University in Fayette, Mo., where he had accepted a football scholarship.

On their way home, one of their newly bought cars began having electrical problems. Bodie said they pulled over onto the side of the road and as he was trying to jumpstart the car, another car came barreling toward him.

“It was just like a split second,” he said. “I didn’t see it coming.”

He said it all happened so fast, and the driver never honked her horn or hit her brakes. The impact of the crash threw his friend into the middle of the road, and threw Bodie 15 feet into the air and 85 feet into the nearest ditch.

“I couldn’t get up,” Bodie said. “My legs felt numb, so I just kind of laid there.”

The first thought that crossed his mind: his football scholarship.

“Football, it’s done,” he recalled thinking as he was waiting for an ambulance. “I was pretty mad. I was in a lot of pain, but it was mostly frustration because I just saw the next four years. It sucks.”

Bodie sustained a broken hip bone, a broken pelvis, a dislocated knee cap, and a slew of other injuries. His friend had only minor injuries and was quickly released from the hospital.

Police said the two friends were safely parked off the roadway. They're now investigating whether the woman who hit them was under the influence.

Bodie's dad, Eldo Eaglen, initially felt angry, but said, “We all make mistakes. I’ve made them, everybody else has made them, and she’s going to have to live with this for the rest of her life.”

Police told Fox 4 the driver could soon face criminal charges.

Meanwhile Bodie and his family are choosing to stay positive and focus on the future. With rehab, he’s expected to make a full recovery in six months, and that’s when he plans to decide whether he wants to pursue football again.

“Just knowing that there`s always a light at the end of the tunnel,” Bodie said of his motivation to get better. “There`s always something. I`m 18. My life’s not even halfway over. I`ll be all right. I got a lot to live.”