Last November, Mary Oliver, a 7th grade science teacher, Jay Newton, a Fort Worth attorney, and Eric Nelson, a Dallas Morning News editor, were all run over by a car running a red light — after they had just punished their bodies by running the half marathon at White Rock Lake.
Poor Jay and Eric had to have titanium rods implanted in their legs.
And Mary suffered two broken legs, a broken arm and a fractured pelvis.She had to spend 18 days in the hospital and months in a wheel chair. But after a year of physical therapy and hard work, Mary ran and walked the 13.1 miles again on November 1st !
Mary returned to her classroom five months before her doctors expected her to. She also continued her studies towards her Master’s degree at the University of North Texas and worked at a second job at night. And she raised two boys by herself.
In April, Mary decided she wanted to enter the half marathon again. The only problem was that she could barely walk. Slowly, she built up her stamina.
Brandi Hopkins, the motorist who ran the red light, was charged with two misdemeanor citations for driving with a suspended license and not having insurance. She was fined $555. Since then, authorities have issued three warrants for her arrest. She has failed to pay her citations, and the fines have increased to $959.40 and will continue to increase.
State Rep. Allen Vaught, who is Nelson’s neighbor, will be at the race cheering Mary on. He helped enact a state law that penalizes uninsured, unlicensed drivers who cause serious bodily injury or death. That’s now a Class A misdemeanor thanks to “Eric’s Law,” which went into effect Sept. 1st.
Congratulations, Mary, on your unbelievable drive and beautiful spirit.