Fort Collins teen hit by suspected drunk driver now out of rehab

FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- Fear of the unknown can be scary for anyone. Fort Collins teenager Tristan Hibbert is facing a lot of uncertainty, but he also has faced a lot of fear over the past month.

“It’s still pretty soon to figure out what we’re going to do,” Hibbert said. “We’re still figuring out how to even handle the injuries. I’m positive about it. I’m getting better every day.”

In mid-December, Hibbert was riding his motorcycle home from Estes Park when he was hit by a car. Officers charged the driver with a DUI and failing to stop at a stop sign. Hibbert says he remembers driving home, and then waking up days later in the hospital.

“I didn’t know what to think at first because I didn’t know where I was or why I was there,” Hibbert said. “It was scary.”

Hibbert says it’s been frustrating knowing he was hit by a drunk driver, saying it could have easily been avoided. The past month has been filled with little milestones, from giving a thumbs up sign in the ICU to walking and getting through rehab.

“They said be thankful that I’m young,” Hibbert said. “If I was older, it might have taken quite a while.”

Now, he’s back on his feet after breaking several bones, puncturing one lung and having the other collapse. Hibbert also suffered a brain injury. The most troubling injury remains nerve damage along his left side.

“It’s constant pain,” Hibbert said. “These nerves re-growing are just hammering pain in my fingers and hands lately.”

The damage to Hibbert's body makes his future murky. The Fort Collins teen was getting ready for a career as a mechanic -- something he says runs in the family and he was very passionate about.

“My future was based on being two-handed so, [it would] have to change quite a bit if I go down to one,” Hibbert said.

Hibbert’s family is looking at hundreds of thousands of dollars in hospital bills for treatment. A GoFundMe has been established to help cover those expenses.

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