The crash happened in the northbound lanes of I-664 near the …
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Updated: Wednesday, 11 Mar 2009, 10:58 PM EDT
Published : Wednesday, 11 Mar 2009, 6:23 PM EDT
SUFFOLK, Va. - She survived when many thought it was impossible and now she's telling her story only to WAVY.com.
Two weeks ago, 17-year-old Ciearra Jackson pulled over to the side of the road to fix a flat tire. Police say street racers slammed into the back of her car along 664 in Chesapeake.
One man died in the crash. Medics rushed Ciearra Jackson and another man to the hospital.
"That's my girl. That's my baby girl," says Tonya Jones, Ciearra Jackson's mother.
Ciearra is a track superstar.
"Track was my life," says the teen.
Her room is packed with medals and trophies showing the 17-year-old's talent, but two weeks ago, the high school senior's beautiful smile was transformed into cheeks of crushed bones and bruises. With one phone call, her family's nightmare began.
"(The trooper) says, 'She's been in an accident and she's on the side of the road,' and I said okay, where is she? I'll come and get her, and he said, 'No, you don't understand. She's been in a horrible accident and she's actually laying on the side of the road. You need to get here now,'" says Tonya.
Tonya never thought she'd find such a mangled mess of cars when
she arrived on scene. Investigators say a Chevy Impala that was
street racing smashed into the back of Ciearra's parked car.
"I just couldn't remember, I couldn't remember any of it," says Ciearra.
They say the Impala was going nearly 100 miles per hour.
"I tried to move and I'm like ouch!"
Tonya's burning question, would her daughter survive?
"I do remember the nurse saying, your daughter, she's tough, she's going to make it."
Ciearra did make it, all the way home, but she has a long road to recovery ahead.
"My right cheekbone is shattered all over, so they went in and put a metal plate in I guess and then it holds all my fractured bones together and my jaw was broken, so my jaw is wired shut," says Ciearra.
The 17-year-old also suffered two broken hips and broken ribs and now from the comfort of her home, she'll never forget waking up in the hospital.
"I tried to move and couldn't move because it hurt so bad."
That's when this track star asked the question Tonya was dreading.
"She started to move and she looked up at the doctor and said, can I walk? And so they're asking, do you feel my hands? Can you feel me touching your toes and she said yes, and so the doctor said yeah you'll be able to walk. Then she said, can I run? My mother says I have to get a full scholarship. I have to run," recalls Tonya laughing. "I said out of everything I've told you in your lifetime, that's what you remember at that point in time."
The doctors told Ciearra she might be able to run in a year or two. Those were difficult words to hear for a young woman who hoped to go to college on a track scholarship.
"By them hitting me, I feel like my life is just on hold," says Ciearra.
Ciearra is now bed and wheelchair-bound for a time, but she's not bitter, she's determined. With support from family and friends, she's got her sights set on a new goal.
"I just want to walk across the stage for graduation."
While Ciearra works on her recovering, police are working the case. Two other cars involved in the street racing that night drove away from the scene. Police are still looking for the drivers.