A woman hit by a suspected drunk driver on Christmas Eve is still fighting for her life, and her family is hoping her story will make people think twice about driving under the influence.
Mildred Pabon, 42, is suffering from five cracked ribs on her left side, a broken pelvic bone, a broken lower spine, and multiple fractures from her knees down her legs. Her left leg will have to be amputated.
She was hit by a suspected drunk driver the day before Christmas as she drove on Interstate 5 near the Coronado Bridge exit and her car was sent into a roll.
Her niece, Natalia Colins, was one of the first people at the scene.
“I noticed that her feet were coming out of the driver side window. So I then climbed into the car so that my aunt would know that she wasn't alone and we were there,” Colins said.
Colins described her aunt as the “light of everyone's life,” and said she’s loving and selfless, and strong beyond measure.
Her family says it’s hard enough to see someone you love suffer. But Pabon being the pillar of the family makes it even tougher.
Now they’re sending out a message to anyone who might consider getting behind the wheel after drinking.
“He didn't just do that to her,” Colins said. “And that' what I want people to know, because if you choose to drink and drive you are not only affecting the person that you hit, it is everyone connected to them.”
The California Highway Patrol told NBC 7 the driver who hit Pabon is facing felony DUI charges. NBC 7 is working to confirm their identity.
Pabon’s family said as soon as they are able to, they want to get involved with Moms Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and increase awareness and try to decrease the deadly mistake.
Pabon’s family says she does not have health insurance and a GoFundMe Page has been set up to help her pay for her medical expenses.