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Spotsylvania family faces financial ruin after daughter's April car crash while the man who caused the crash got a $30 fine.
Katelyn Griczin undergoes aqua therapy as part of her recovery from devastating injuries in a car crash in April.
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BY SCOTT SHENK
Katelyn Griczin was on her way to volunteer at a Relay for Life event on April 20 when she rounded a curve on State Route 208 in Spotsylvania's Post Oak area.
What happened next changed life as she and her family knew it.
The then-Spotsylvania High School senior was in her 1991 Acura Legend, only a couple miles from home, when a white Chevrolet Silverado appeared around the bend and suddenly veered into her lane.
Neither driver had time to react before the vehicles collided head-on.
The crash was violent. Katelyn's car slammed into the ditch and the hood crashed through the windshield. It apparently sliced through the airbag and likely was the cause of her severe head and facial injuries.
The truck, driven by Dustin A. Lawrence, came to a stop sideways in the road. The impact forced the front tires through the floorboard.
Both drivers were trapped in the crumpled vehicles and rescue workers had to cut them free.
"It was one of the worst accidents I've ever seen," said Deputy Brandon Handy, who handled the crash investigation. "It could've been lethal for both."
Lawrence, who is in the military and stationed at Quantico, sustained foot injuries and was treated at Mary Washington Hospital, according to police.
Katelyn was severely injured in the crash, suffering two broken legs, a compound fracture in her left arm, a broken jaw and a concussion. She also suffered severe facial lacerations and had numerous teeth knocked loose. Her injuries required a helicopter flight to VCU Medical Center in Richmond for immediate surgery.
Handy, who said the curve is notorious for bad crashes, doesn't know what caused Lawrence to cross the yellow lines. But the deputy charged him with reckless driving.
On July 31, Lawrence pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of failing to stay on the right side of the road. He was fined $30 and charged $61 in court costs for the misdemeanor.
Lawrence couldn't be reached for comment.
The aftermath has been much different for Katelyn and her family.
Her recovery and the ensuing costs not covered by insurance have been overwhelming.
The 18-year-old spent 12 days at the VCU Medical Center. Since her release, she has made regular return visits to the hospital's brain center to track her recovery from the concussion.