Crash survivor: 'I am gonna get better. I am gonna walk'
SEATTLE -- Jessie Owen lost her parents and was paralyzed from the neck down in a December car crash near Stevens Pass, but the 27-year-old school teacher refuses to give up on life.
Jessie has been at Harborview Medical Center for more than a month following the Dec. 21 crash that killed her parents, Timothy and Cheryl Owen, and severely injured two of her siblings.
The family was headed for a weekend of snowshoeing near Leavenworth when a large tree came down on their SUV. Jessie said it was her adopted sister, 4'10" tall Jamie, who held the surviving family together as they waited for help.
"I remember I thought it was a dream at first, and when I realized it wasn't it was a little bit scary, but my sister was the one who really held things together," she said. "As we sat there and waited, she just gently talked to us the best that she could."
Jamie and her husband, Steven, broke all of their limbs and are currently in rehab. Their brother, Jeremy, survived with only a cut.
While she hasn't seen much of her siblings since the crash, Jessie said they're always close to her heart.
"Even though my brother and sister and brother in law have been away, their marks are all over my heart (and) in this room also," she said.
Jessie's made small strides since the accident, but she's determined to walk again.
"I am gonna get better. I am gonna walk," she said.
The family's attorney is looking for witnesses to the crash. Anyone with information can email Karen Koehler firstname.lastname@example.org. The family is also seeking help with medical bills. Anyone who would like to donate can do so here.