KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Lisa Rikli is thankful her daughter, Makayla, is alive after she was hit by a suspected drunk driver going the wrong-way on Interstate 29 early Sunday morning.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol said the crash happened off I-29 near the Tiffany Spring exit just after 1:30 a.m. Sunday morning. The driver is suspected of being under the influence and was going southbound on I-29 north.
“Part of me is still angry because it’s 2022. There’s Ubers. There’s cabs. There’s buses. There’s getting a ride from friends. There’s way too many options for people to be drinking and driving,” Rikli said.
Elise Edwards was in the car with Makayla. Edwards said both had left work at 54 Street Grill after working a double shift.
“I remember headlights coming at us,” she said. “I swerved to the left to try and miss it, but it didn’t work.”
Edwards said after her car was hit head-on, it spun, and they landed in the middle of oncoming traffic on the highway.
“I saw the semi-truck coming, and she couldn’t get out, and after the semi-truck hit us, I had to get out,” she said. “Then I just tried to wave people down to the get them to stop.”
Rikli said she doesn’t know how long her daughter will be in the hospital. She’s already had three surgeries. Plus, Makayla will have to undergo physical therapy.
Among Makayla’s injuries are two broken hands and a lacerated liver caused by some broken ribs.
“Her entire right leg had to have a rod put into it, had to have pins for her ankle to be reattached to her foot. She has staples in her head,” Rikli said.
Rikli’s plea for those who get behind the wheel after drinking: “Don’t do it. You change your life; you change other lives. Her life will never be the same.”
A fundraiser has been set up to help Makayla as she recovers.