Posted on September 20, 2005

NC Woman Injured In Drunken Driving Wreck Trying to Emerge From Coma

AP, Sept. 19

Relatives of a woman critically injured in an apparent drunken driving wreck two months ago say she’s trying to awaken from a coma.

Tina Gardner was riding in a station wagon that collided with a truck driven by Ramiro Gallegos on July 16th in Brunswick County. She’s listed in fair condition.

Scott Gardner was killed in the accident. The couple’s two young children suffered minor injuries.

Gallegos, an illegal immigrant from Mexico, faces second-degree murder charges in the wreck. The case has generated widespread discussion because Gallegos had been convicted three times of driving while intoxicated but never deported.

Tina Gardner suffered severe injuries and has been at WakeMed Health and Hospitals in Raleigh in a coma since. A family Web site says while she remains comatose and unable to talk, she is attempting to interact with visitors by squeezing hands.

Gardner has been receiving physical therapy and had a trachea tube removed last week.