Griffin gives one last word to Torrington Rotary

‘I do hope positive change can come from this horrific incident’

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TORRINGTON – After having suffered an incredibly violent and nearly fatal accident last fall, long-time Torrington resident Andrea Griffin voiced her story, and future concerns one last time to the Torrington Rotary Chapter Monday at Cottonwood Country Club.

With dozens of Rotarian members, guests and community leaders in attendance Griffin made it a serious point for her story to not go unforgotten any time soon.

Griffin noted factually that with her permanent physical limitations brought on by her injuries, the entire ordeal should serve as a harsh yet sincere reminder for all residents to use extreme caution while driving. 

She also strongly encouraged all drivers to think hard of family and friends before taking any risks.

“First of all I am not courageous,” Griffin began. “I am a simple, normal person whose life changed abruptly. I do not want to be considered a victim.”

With a respectful silence among all in attendance, Griffin was remindful of the injuries she continues to feel physically, mentally and emotionally because of the irresponsible decision of one person driving over a year ago.

“I have a lot of nerve damage,” Griffin continued. “The left side of my face continues to be numb. My left hand, wrist and arm now have limited use. I will never be able to put on my wedding ring again. All of this after four months of physical therapy, three times a week two to three hours a day. Both of my arms were broken so I couldn’t use a walker. I couldn’t dial the telephone at the hospital to order a meal.”

Griffin made sure to speak of her infant grandson who was born just two days prior to her near death experience.

With some spirit-lifting humor, Griffin noted the parallels between her condition along with her newborn grandchild.

“My grandson and I shared a lot of parallels,” Griffin continued. “He had to wear diapers, I had to wear diapers. He couldn’t walk, I couldn’t walk. He had to have someone feed him, I had to have someone feed me. Most people that have hip replacement usually are up walking within 24 hours. I couldn’t.  They had to assemble a walker so that I could rest one arm, and lift with the other.”

Despite the immense physical pain and emotional trauma endured by Griffin over the past year, she then spoke of the tremendous support and compassion brought on by members of her community. This as well as the incredible care assured by healthcare providers both in Torrington and in Greeley, Colorado.

“When I was in Greeley all these flowers started pouring into my hospital room,” Griffin said. “I thought, ‘My gosh where are these all coming from?’ It was like a forest. They all came home with me, and even more when I was in the Torrington hospital. I had nurses that would sneak into my room because it smelled so wonderful. Hospitals don’t typically smell wonderful, but my room did. I work for a most wonderful company that held my position for eleven long weeks. I want to give one last thanks to the Goshen County Friendship Center, so that we could get through the day at no cost. I would be remised if I did not mentioned the fabulous care I received both in Torrington, and in Greeley.”

Despite the perpetrator receiving legal consequences for the decision to leave Griffin unconscious and helpless after colliding with her, Griffin feels that change is a must to prevent such incidents from happening to others in the future.

“I do hope some positive changes can come from this horrific incident. It is my great desire for the Wyoming Department of Transportation to change all crosswalks to a red arrow. If the arrow had been red and not flashing yellow, I would not have had to have gone through that. It nearly happened to me and my husband yet again since. I would like to see a law where a person without insurance has that vehicle impounded, and is only released when there is proven insurance on it. I want Mr. Gallardo to know that my family and I never wanted revenge, we just wanted justice.”

President of Torrington Rotary and Goshen County District Attorney, Eric Boyer, stood in support next to Griffin while she was greeted with applause.

Boyer would further add to Griffin’s incident, noting the violent force that was inflicted upon her. 

“I wasn’t there obviously, but have watched the video,” Boyer stated. “That’s the reason we are here today, or we wouldn’t have even been able to prove what had happened. From the video, I even have PTSD after watching what happened.”

The meeting adjourned at 1 p.m.