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Steven M. Lee, PC

Drunk Driving Accident Victim Dreams of Walking

Posted on Jun 08, 2009

In 2003, Kenneth Smith’s life changed forever.  He was a passenger in his father’s Ford F-150 pickup truck on a fall evening in 2003.  They were heading home from a day of installing stereos and alarms in cars.    Kenneth’s father, Gary, told him to get some rest, as they stopped to pay a toll on a rural Harris County road.

Kenneth is now a quadriplegic and his father is dead.

The tragic drunk driving accident occurred on September 13, 2003 in northeast Harris County.  The Smith’s vehicle was struck that evening by drunk driver Ramchand Jagaroo.  The drunk driver was speeding down U.S. 90 in his black BMW at approximately 80 to 90 miles per hour.  According to police, Jagaroo’s vehicle started fishtailing and hit Gary’s Ford truck on a bridge over the San Jacinto River.  The pickup flipped over a barrier and off the bridge, where it landed on its roof on a small island in the river.

Gary’s bones were shattered in the crash and he died.  Kenneth was flown to Memorial Hermann Hospital with three fractured vertebrae and a damaged spinal cord.  Doctors inserted 14 metal plates and bolts into his body to help hold him together.

Jagaroo was charged with intoxicated assault and manslaughter.  He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison.  Jagaroo had been convicted of three prior DWIs.

Kenneth still dreams of walking to this day.  He wants to try a treatment that involves injecting stem cells into the body, in hope that they will regenerate the body’s cells and restore movement.  Kenneth’s doctors are skeptical of the treatment because it is not backed by scientific data.  However, Kenneth wants to raise the money to try this treatment, which will cost $40,000.

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