Colorado teen fighting for his life after being hit by suspected drunk driver

LOVELAND, Colo. -- Andrea Messick and her extended family have not gotten a lot of sleep. They’ve been together for countless hours at UCHealth Medical Center of the Rockies, because that’s what friends do for each other in time of need.

“It’s an absolute nightmare,” Messick said.

Friday night, her good friend’s son, Tristan Hibbert, was riding his motorcycle home when he was hit by a suspected drunk driver.

Messick describes Hibbert as a hard worker who checks in with his parents. He was coming home early that night after hanging out with friends when he was hit. He was riding from Estes Park back home to Fort Collins at the time.

“A car pulls out and cuts him off,” Messick said.

Loveland police have charged the driver, Joseph Morrison, with vehicular assault and a DUI, along with failing to stop at a stop sign.

“He’s not out doing anything wrong, and because somebody made some bad choices, it’s going to affect the rest of his life,” Messick said. “Never in a million years do you think this is going to happen to you, and it happened to us. It’s ruined our life.”

Now, the 19-year-old handyman is in the fight for his life. He has several fractured and broken bones and two collapsed lungs. The family says doctors are now treating him for pneumonia. Messick says he’s getting an MRI Monday night to see how extensive the damage is.

“We don’t know if he’s going to be able to move his arm or not,” Messick said. “So that big mechanic job he’s worked for, the certificates he’s earned, 19 years old... they might be pointless now.”

During the holiday season, Tristan’s story is a reminder for drivers thinking about getting behind the wheel after drinking.

“The message is: just don’t do it,” Messick said. “Call an Uber. There are so many places that can help give people rides.”

The family has set up a GoFundMe page to help with the medical expenses.

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