“We’re trying to keep her spirits lifted,”: driver of car crushed by tree now recovering with severe injuries

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Published: Oct. 3, 2022 at 9:11 PM EDT
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IRMO, S.C. (WIS) - WIS is learning more about the driver who was behind the wheel when a tree landed on her car in Irmo, S.C. 29-year-old Jessie Jeffcoat was driving to class along Piney Grove Road Thursday evening, around 3 p.m. when a tree landed on top of her car, knocking her unconscious while still traveling.

Dorian Dixon tells WIS her sister was traveling down Piney Grove Road when a tree fell on her car. Dixon says it knocked her sister unconscious with her foot still on the gas. Jessie continued driving down Piney Grove Road, passing seven houses as her car went through a fence before crashing into a tree.

“Her door was crushed shut, and the way the log came across the car, it crushed the two front pillars and a part of the roof,” said Chief Sloane Valentino with Irmo Fire District.

RELATED STORY: Driver injured after tree falls on car in Irmo

Chief Sloane Valentino with Irmo Fire District was on the scene following the accident. He says EMS and fire crews spent 15 minutes cutting open the car to make their way to Jessie. Once removing her from her vehicle, she was rushed to the hospital.

“She has a broken neck, she has a broken jaw, she has some injuries to her thoracic area,” said Dorian Dixon Jessie’s Jeffcoat’s sister.

Dixon says her sister Jessie will have to undergo two surgeries this week.

“She has surgery on Friday to repair her neck, so she has a permanent rod that’s in her neck. So, she’ll still be able to kind of move her neck from side to side, but she’ll be limited as far as, with up and down,” said Dixon.

She’s also scheduled for surgery on Tuesday but that will be to wire her mouth closed. Dixon tells WIS the 29-year-old is the youngest of eight children.

Dixon says, “When this happened, it threw everybody for a loop because everybody was like this is Jessie. Nothing ever happens to Jessie, but through it all, we have very strong faith.”

And faith is what Dixon says will get Jessie through a long road to recovery.

“We’re trying to keep her spirits lifted, but I think with all of the prayers that are coming in and all of the well wishes and knowing that she’s got some prayers, warriors, praying for her, I think it’s definitely warming her heart a whole lot,” she said.

Dixon tells WIS that Jessie is actually studying occupational therapy but will have to take a medical leave while she recovers. She says doctors are expecting it to take around a year for Jessie to fully recover from her injuries.

Jessie will also have to miss work while recovering. So, the family has put together a GoFundMe to help with medical expenses.

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