Kansas City native saves toddler in Chicago crash involving an allegedly drunk city worker
Nanny speaks publicly about the crash
9:16 PM, Jul 19, 2011
6:33 PM, Jul 20, 2011
KANSAS CITY, Missouri - A nanny mowed down by a city worker in Chicago saved the toddler she was watching. The Kansas City native spoke about her ordeal for the first time on Tuesday.
Jen Anton, 25, was just released from the hospital but still has a long recovery ahead.
Wheeled into a news conference by her attorney, Anton spoke for the first time about the life changing crash that nearly killed her.
"I remember then just kind of like a white flash of the truck and pushing the stroller. And all of a sudden I was face down on the sidewalk. And then I just remember screaming in pain; 15 bystanders came over and lifted the truck off of us. I could just feel it. I was broken and I could just feel that the bones were not...that I wasn't whole," said Anton.
The Kansas City native turned Chicago nanny was pushing 20-month-old Tyler Jones in a stroller when a truck, driven by City of Chicago Streets & Sanitation worker Dwight Washington, ran down several pedestrians on the sidewalk at the corner of a Chicago intersection. Anton was one of many victims in the May 21 crash.
Anton instinctively pushed the stroller away, preventing injuries to the child.
"When I was first waking up, that, my first thoughts were, is she OK," said Anton.
Anton has had 11 surgeries so far and will have at least one more. Her hip and pelvis were severely fractured, and she sustained severe nerve damage to her feet. Anton has no feeling at all in her right foot and remains in a wheelchair. She cannot stand and is not expected to walk again until sometime next year. She will likely need a full hip replacement in 10 years.
Anton is suing the city and its employee, Washington, who had a blood alcohol count twice the legal limit. Washington has since been charged with driving under the influence.
Anton's mother, Kathy Anton, left Kansas City to be with her daughter.
Anton's medical bills are well over a million dollars. Kathy Anton said her insurance is covering only part of the bills and when Jen Anton turns 26 next year, she will not be covered.
NBC Action News caught up with Jen Anton's father here in Kansas City. He said his daughter has a long road ahead of her.
"She's got lots of expenses. We probably over spent on the apartment but some of it was cheer factor," said Thomas Anton.
He said she'll be in her apartment all day, every day as she recovers from her 11 surgeries.
Friends of Anton have started a fund to help pay her medical bills and other expenses. A fund has been set up at Chase Bank to collect donations to help pay for her care.
Jen Anton Fund
c/o Chase Bank
605 N. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611