Bond set for woman charged with severely injuring Midlands veteran in DUI crash

Published: Oct. 24, 2019 at 7:17 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - A Columbia woman accused of driving drunk and slamming into a 29-year-old veteran riding his motorcycle on Garners Ferry Road last month faced a judge Thursday morning.

Cynthia Sims, 62, is charged with felony DUI causing great bodily injury after Everette Scott, 29, suffered life-threatening injuries as a result of the crash. According to the South Carolina Highway Patrol, the crash happened around 12:30 a.m. on Sept. 22 on Highway 378 outside of Eastover. Scott and some family members were returning to Columbia after a gathering.

Scott, along with two other men, were riding motorcycles in between two cars full of family members. Scott’s attorney says the men decided to ride between the cars for safety, given the lack of lighting and risk of hitting deer.

Suddenly, Highway Patrol said Sims crossed over the median and began driving eastbound in the westbound lane, striking Scott and knocking him off of his motorcycle. The impact severed his left leg, according to his attorney.

The scene described in court was so graphic, his attorney said, Scott’s family members struggled to look at his leg while trying to help stop the bleeding. Scott said on the way to the hospital, he thought he was going to die.

Doctors were forced to amputate his left leg above his knee and after spending a month in the hospital recovering, Scott returned home last weekend.

“It’s been a challenge, it’s been an experience, it’s been rough but I have a lot of support,” said Scott. “A lot of people that go through situations like I’ve been through don’t get to talk about it and I was almost one of those people. I’m just grateful to still be here having gone through everything I’ve been through.”

Scott is a former firefighter and spent 12 years in the Army Reserve, where he completed two combat tours in Afghanistan. He survived on the battlefield, never expecting to nearly lose his life at home.

“In Afghanistan, I’ve actually written letters home in case something happened to me,” said Scott. “But there’s a difference between thinking you’re going to die versus almost knowing you’re going to die.”

Scott’s attorney said he was wearing a helmet and protective gear the night of the crash.

He credits the unwavering support from his family, friends and the community as he adjusts to his new normal and remains optimistic about the future.

“I’ve always been like this, I’ve been criticized for being too optimistic,” he said. “You have to take the punches life throws at you. If you set your mind on one thing, and you fall down, you’re never going to get back up. But if you’re flexible, you’ll keep moving.”

Sims’ bond is set at $60,000 and she is not allowed to drink or contact Scott. She will also remain on house arrest. Prosecutors said her blood alcohol content at the time of the crash was .14 and she failed multiple field sobriety tests. She has no criminal history.

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