How a University of Michigan Program Helps Victims of DUI Crashes

Jeff Reese and Susan Grove

Within a few seconds, lives can be changed forever by those who choose to climb behind the wheel after drinking too much.

The night of May 8, 2008 was a typical night on the way home from a baseball game for Jeff Reese and Susan Grove.  While rounding a curve, Oscar Portillo was approaching at a high rate of speed, then crossed the center line giving Reese nowhere to go but head on into the oncoming vehicle.

Both passengers in the vehicle were rendered unconscious.  They lived but have unfortunately suffered serious brain injuries in addition to a number of other physical injuries to hips, ankles, and knees.

Jeff Reese had a master’s degree in accounting, yet after 4 1/2 years of recovery he still could not speak words clearly or correctly.  Fortunately, Jeff was introduced to a program pioneered by the University of Michigan through a friend of his mother.

The U of M program started in the 1940s to help victims of World War II who had suffered brain injuries to improve their ability to speak, according to Dr. Joanne Pierson, associate director of the program.

It’s one of the oldest facilities of its kind and one of only a handful in the country. The Michigan program includes 30 hours a week of intense therapy, she said. Its staff consists of clinically trained, professional speech-language pathologists.

What happened to the driver?

Oscar Portillo, the man who caused two individual countless hours of pain and suffering eventually pleaded guilty to two counts of vehicular assault causing bodily injury.  He was sentenced to 12 years in prison for his crime.

“He took our life away,” Reese said, quickly adding that he feels sorry for the man’s wife and children.

Drunk driving not only can kill, it can change lives forever.

Read more about the recovery  of Jeff Reese and Susan Grove from a DUI crash >>>

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

DUI Attorney Grand Rapids | All Content Copyright © DUI Attorney in Grand Rapids MI | 616-541-6134 | Free Consultation