12 On Your Side: Crash victim and police officer reunited
CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - After an NBC12 story that aired in April, a car crash victim and the police officer who helped her through the incident were reunited.
Kristen Mallory was in a terrible accident four years ago. Mallory was 16 years old when she and her mother were struck by a drunk driver while driving home from a family member's makeup rehearsal for their wedding. The crash happened on Hull Street at Spring Run Road on June 9, 2013.
The passenger's side of the vehicle, where Kristen was sitting, was struck. Mallory was pinned inside the car. She couldn't see or feel her legs. She suffered major injuries.
"Two broken femurs, two broken hands, a broken collar bone, and a concussion," Mallory said.
It took the fire department 30 minutes just to get Mallory out of the smashed up car. As the 16-year-old sat unable to move and petrified that night, a person, who Mallory describes as an angel, came to her rescue.
That person was a Chesterfield Police Officer.
"She was my strength that night," Mallory said.
That officer didn't leave Mallory's side the entire time she was being extracted from the car.
"She kneeled down and got down to my level and talked to me about keeping my head straight, talked me through, tried to keep me as calm as I could be," Mallory said.
After Mallory was released from the hospital, she wanted to find that officer to thank her, but her name wasn't on the accident report.
She couldn't find her, and she never saw her again...that is, until our report aired a month ago about Mallory.
Officer Katelyn Stonnell saw our report and recognized Mallory immediately. She tells NBC12 she had never stopped thinking about Mallory. It was a case that had stayed with her and she had always wondered about what happened to Mallory after that night. At the time, Officer Stonnell had only been on the force for about a year.
Stonnell immediately reached out to Mallory via the email on the original NBC12 story. She recounted her version of what happened on June 9, 2013.
"To see her on this news story and to see her have this positive encounter, I had tears running down my face," Officer Stonnell said.
She also was one of the first officers on the scene and heard the crash when it happened, because she was stopped near where the incident occurred.
That email opened communication. The officer and the young woman who she helped save finally met and spoke for the first time. It was a heartwarming reunion and one filled with laughs and tears for both Officer Stonnell and Mallory, one they say wouldn't have happened without NBC12.
Now, Chesterfield Police want to work with Mallory to help get her story out there and educate people on the consequences of drinking and driving.
Mallory has already told her story at several schools and prisons. She has talked to employees at the Department of Corrections, Eastern Mennonite University and Stratford University to name a few.
If you'd like to reach out to Mallory to speak, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The driver who hit the Mallory's was charged and spent three years in prison.
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