A 16-year-old girl is facing a long road to recovery after being critically injured in a DUI hit-and-run crash July 22.
According to family friend Karen Jacobs, Avery Barnes — a student at Bishop Moore Catholic High School — is suffering from multiple internal injuries, broken bones, serious skin injuries and burns over 30% of her body.
Polk County Sheriff’s officials said four 16-year-olds — including Avery — were injured in the crash, which occurred outside a house party in the Loughman area of Davenport. Deputies initially responded to calls about a loud house party in the neighborhood around 9:37 p.m. Upon their arrival, teenagers began to quickly disperse.
Deputies said the four victims were standing at the edge of the driveway when Ryan Colom, 16, of Winter Garden, struck them with a black 2020 Kia Stinger. Three suffered non-life-threatening injuries, but Avery was dragged under Colom’s car. It is estimated she was dragged about 450 feet.
Colom has been charged with various felonies and misdemeanors as a result of the hit-and-run.
Avery was flown to Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children in Orlando in critical condition and has since been transferred to Orlando Health Orlando Regional Medical Center. She is expected to fully recover within 18 to 24 months but now faces “dozens of reconstructive and painful surgeries, skin grafts, lengthy hospital stays and extensive physical therapy,” Jacobs wrote on Avery’s GoFundMe page.
“Avery is making so much progress; every day seems to get better and better,” Jacobs wrote. “She still has a long road ahead of her, but we are thankful for the positive direction in which she is recovering.”
As of press time, Avery’s ventilator and feeding tubes have been removed, Jacobs said. Her parents are working with her doctors to determine her treatment plan for the severe skin injuries on her abdomen, pelvis and arm, which will require skin grafts. Additionally, physical therapists will be working with her this week.
Jacobs wrote that friends and family have been gathering each day at 12:17 p.m. to pray for Avery. T-shirts and wristbands are being sold, as well, and proceeds will go toward her medical bills. At press time, the GoFundMe page had raised $193,293 of the $200,000 goal.
“Pray she continues to heal physically and mentally, but also that she will emotionally be able to accept her injuries,” Jacobs wrote.