Stingaree Crash Victim Not Out of the Woods: Docs

By R. Stickney
|  Wednesday, Feb 16, 2011  |  Updated 5:42 AM PDT
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Driver IDd After Cab Jumps Curb, Crushes Crowd

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Stingaree Cab Crash Victim Was Celebrating Valentine's Day

An Encinitas woman whose leg was severely mangled when a cab jumped a curb, pinning her against a wall and injuring 34 others, was celebrating Valentine?s Day with her husband when the accident happened.
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She can feel her foot and even wiggle her toes.

That's the update from doctors treating Dominique Gambale, the Encinitas woman whose leg was severely mangled when a cab jumped a curb, pinning her against a wall Saturday morning.

Gambale is being treated at UC San Diego Medical Center.

On Tuesday, the medical team helping her recover from her injuries updated reporters on Gambale's condition indicating that while things are going well, it could be months before doctors really know if the Gambale's leg will be okay. 

The 45-year old had asked her mother to baby-sit her 10-year-old daughter and 6-year-old on Friday night while she celebrated Valentine’s Day a few days early with her husband.

The couple had booked a hotel for the evening downtown and were trying to decide whether to walk to the hotel or take a cab. They decided to wait for a cab outside Stingaree on 6th Avenue.

In an instant, a cab veered off the street and into the crowd exiting the club, crushing more than 30 people and pinning Gambale against a wall.

Initial reports stated that Gambale’s leg was severed. Hospital officials clarified on Monday that her leg was not severed, but severely injured.

According to orthopaedic surgeon Paul Girard, MD, Gambale still has a lot of swelling and large open wounds. Right now, they are not sure they will succeed in salvaging her leg.

She will likely need two more surgeries and could take years to recover from her injuries.

She has all the right elements to try and make this work though. Her attitude, her health status all those things are well in her favor," said Girard.

"She's optimistic and wants to be able to walk and live essentially a normal life in the future," he said.

If things go well, doctors hope to have Gambale start bearing weight on the leg in six months or so. 

Related stories and video:
New Evidence Revealed in Nightclub crash
Cab Crash Victim Was Celebrating Valentine's Day
Stingaree Owner Defends Bouncers' Actions
Clip Captures Chaos After Cab Drives Into Club Crowd
Witnesses Recount Horrific Nightclub Scene

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