JEMISON, Ala. (CBS 42) – A 24 year-old woman who was seriously injured after being hit by a car during a nighttime horseback ride in Jemison is on the mend. Audreauna Cummings and two other people were on County Road 42 around 9:25 p.m. on May 29th when the accident happened. “I had on reflective gear, as did everybody else,” Cummings told CBS 42, “and every time we saw a car, we used an LED light to flash them down.”
Cummings also happened to be on Facebook Live at the time a car hit the horse. Although the camera’s motion is jerky, the headlights of a car are visible before the phone flips into the grass.
The horse’s owner, Kim Breckenridge, described what she thought happened, based on his injuries. “It seems like the headlight of the car came back and took a large chunk from his leg back here,” she said. “His rear-end hits the windshield and almost completely went through it.”
A police report from Alabama State Troopers states that Cummings and the other two riders were attempting to cross County Road 42, and that Cummings was wearing dark clothing while riding a black horse. According to the report, the driver of the vehicle did not see Cummings. She was struck in the westbound lane, where she flipped over the vehicle and landed on the pavement.
Cummings and her mother, Patricia Williams, dispute aspects of the police report. Both believe that Cummings was visible at the time of the accident. They also claim that she and the other riders were on the side of the road, and that the vehicle crossed over several lanes when she was hit. “She came all the way over and hit me somehow,” Cummings said.
No charges have been filed against Cumming or the driver in the accident at this time.
Cummings was airlifted to UAB Hospital. She says she spent 10 days there. “I have seven breaks from here to here,” she explained pointing at her mouth and jaw, “cracked ribs, I have a fractured wrist, and bruised lungs.”
Now, she’s trying to figure out how to cover the cost of medical bills and upcoming surgeries. “They’re not there,” she said, pointing to her teeth. Her jaw had been wired shut. “I only have about six teeth, and I’m going to have to have 18 implants.”
Cummings and Williams said that she does not have insurance at this time, despite being an Army veteran. (watch the video above to learn what she says about her service.) She claims that her healthcare through the VA will not cover the procedures that she needs. She is seeking financial assistance through online donation sites and other charities. She has a surgery scheduled for Monday, and when asked how she was going to pay for it said, “I don’t know. I know they’re going to bill me for it, and the bills just keep adding up.”
As for the horse, named Toot, he is also recovering back at home tonight. “He’s my big baby,” said Breckenridge. “I mean, he’s like one of my kids. He’s come a long way from having Jemison’s police department standing behind him getting ready to pull their gun out and put him down because he was suffering so bad…but we’ve got a long way to go.”
Breckenridge said that Toot stayed at a clinic for five days going through therapy and laser treatments. She says that he will need many more for the next 6 months to a year. However, Toot is lucky to be alive, and other than road rash, scrapes, and cuts from the glass; he doesn’t have any broken bones. He does have a serious injury to one leg where a lot of skin is missing.
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