Suspected DUI driver leaves Flagstaff woman in critical condition

Tawni Wimberley's fianc� recounted the last time he was with Tawni conscious before the accident.

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -A Flagstaff woman was still in critical condition in the hospital Monday night after police said a drunk driver plowed into her car last week.

Engaged and with a whole new chapter ahead of her, Tawni Wimberley’s life was forever changed on the intersection of Highway 89 and E. Marketplace Drive, where police said a drunk Tito Whiterock, 30, ran into the back of her car, sending his passenger, Wimberley, her children and another driver from a different truck to the hospital.

Wimberley’s fiancé Andy Keenan said their lives changed drastically after this unexpected turn last Wednesday night. That was the last time Keenan saw Wimberley conscious.

RELATED: Flagstaff man arrested for DUI following high-speed chase that injured 6

“Since we left dinner and just said 'See you at home and I love you,'” Keenan said.

The two left in separate cars with their children, sharing the road with Whiterock.

Officers with the Flagstaff Police Department said when they tried to question Whiterock about a theft earlier that night, the suspect and his passenger drove off, holding beer cans and pulling over once as seen in police body camera video from the pursuit.

In the video, the suspect was seen taking off again -- at one point reaching speeds of about 100 miles per hour, according to the officer pursuing Whiterock.

Police said the suspect ran into Wimberley’s car, then spun onto a stopped truck -- heading in the opposite direction.

When Keenan, a former firefighter paramedic, pulled up at the intersection, he “just went to work,” he said, adding, “I don’t know that I’ve still dealt with it.”

Keenan saw Wimberley’s teenagers “that were on the sidewalk and awake, but banged up pretty hard and Tawni was on the ground by that point with the fire department working on her."

After that night, it's been up to surgeons to take on the brain trauma and broken bones Keenan is confident Wimberley will wake from and conquer.

“She’s a really strong woman and has a lot of willpower and a lot of mental strength,” Keenan said.

As the medical bills stack up, the community is responding through a GoFundMe account set up by Wimberley’s best friend. Monday night, it was at nearly $15,000. You can click here to donate.

Whiterock sits behind bars on a $40,000 cash bond. His passenger and the other three victims were released from the hospital by Monday.

Proceeds from Thursday’s comedy night put on by the Shadow’s Foundation will also go to the family. You can find the event by clicking here.

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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