CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Nearly two months after pedicab driver Travis ODell was critically injured when an intoxicated driver slammed into him from behind in downtown Charleston, his road to recovery continues at the Roper Rehabilitation Center.
“I understand that I was thrown 80 feet from where I was hit,” ODell said, hardly able to recall the traumatic moments that followed. “The car hit the bike, the bike hit me, and then I was thrown 80 feet. Then I was rolled another 30 or so feet before I came to a stop.”
“I don’t remember the actual accident. I don’t remember the ambulance ride. I don’t remember anything until I was in the ICU.”
ODell was operating a rickshaw near Meeting and George streets during the early morning hours of May 13. “I lost eight pints of blood and I needed eight pints of plasma from that hit.”
ODell’s attorneys said he was entered into a medically induced coma at the Medical University of South Carolina; he suffered from multiple serious injuries including two broken legs, two collapsed lungs, a comminuted forearm, broken ribs, fractured mandible, fractured pelvis, dislocated hip, and severe lacerations covering his body.
“I’ve lost track of the broken bones,” he said. “If I try to think about everything all at once I will dilute myself and my energy, so I’m just dealing with the physical therapist and occupational therapist recommended taking it one step quite literally at a time.”
ODell has enjoyed an active life, running marathons, dancing, and driving a rickshaw.
He’s also counting on the comprehensive care from his two medical teams at the Medical University of South Carolina and Roper Rehabilitation Center.
“They have given me the ability to stand on my own two feet again literally… That has been priceless,” he said. “I know that my life is never going to be the same and of course, I’ve lost time. But there is so much to be gained from this- I didn’t need this to happen to appreciate life, that’s how I’ve tried to live.”
He went on to say, “I know that a lot of good things are going to come from this. I’m not paralyzed; I’m going to walk again; I’m going to swim again. And I’m going to do it well.”
The driver of that vehicle, 22-year-old Andrew Demetre, initially fled the scene but was stopped by Charleston Police near Market and Meeting streets. He was arrested on a charge of felony DUI resulting in great bodily injury or death and hit and run with death or injury.
An investigation is ongoing.