A young Dublin woman on a month’s vacation in the U.S. survived a horrific car crash in Tennessee on Wednesday, September 16, that claimed the lives of three others.
Elena Jimenez, 22, was rescued from a mangled car wreckage by a police officer and a passer by minutes before the vehicle burst into flames.
Doctor’s said that Jimenez, whose father is from Spain and mother from Ballyboden in South Dublin, is expected to make a full recovery. Jimenez suffered broken arms, two broken ribs, a hole in her chest and a damaged lung after the accident. She underwent two successful operations on her jaw and pelvis.
Jimenez, who was visiting the U.S. for a month on vacation, lost her good friend Jessica Monroe, 26, who was the driver of the jeep, in the crash.
Another couple, Robert Murphy, 48, and his 47-year old wife Lori, who were traveling in another car, with their four-year old son, died. Their son, Nicohlas Murphy, is still recovering in U.T. hospital.
Jimenez’s father, who admitted to watching a video clip of the aftermath of the crash, said he doesn’t “know how she got out alive.”
“She's doing great. The people there are helping a lot,” said Jimenez’s father, who spoke to reporters from his home in Dublin.
Jimenez’s mother, Lorna, her twin sister Lynn, and her brother Carlos, 23, arrived in Tennessee on Saturday. Friends of the Jimenez’s family raised substantial funds to pay for the family to be with Elena in the U.S.
The Knox County Sheriff’s Office said the preliminary investigation indicates the jeep that Jimenez was traveling in was going at a high rate of speed, lost control and hit a van sending it rolling on its top. Jimenez’s car then collided with the car carrying a couple and their four-year-old son. The driver of the van was injured, 48-year-old Greg Broyles of Seymour, but refused treatment.