OREGON CITY, Ore. — Nine months after a hit-and-run crash critically injured a Multnomah University basketball player, the player is on the mend and the driver who hit her has finally been arrested.
On Oct. 18, 2017, 21-year-old Ana Wakefield was driving to basketball practice from her home in Clackamas County. Deputies say the driver of a stolen SUV crossed the center line on Highway 212 and slammed head-on into Ana's car. Following the crash, the suspect fled the scene.
While hoping for an arrest over the past nine months, Wakefield said she's always kept two words in mind: justice and forgiveness. As for her recovery, she's focused on three words: discipline, patience and hope.
Wakefield has had five brain surgeries since the crash. She's spent nine months recovering from two broken legs and a collapsed lung. She has no memory of the crash. What Wakefield does remember are the countless hours of physical therapy and pain she's endured to regain what she lost.
"She just goes after it and never quits," said Wakefield's father, David.
On Friday, the search for a suspect ended when 20-year-old Sequoyha Storck was arrested. He was arraigned in Clackamas County court that day.
He faces 11 charges, including failure to perform the duties of a driver to an injured person, two counts of assault, possession of a stolen motor vehicle, DUII and third-degree escape.
It's the justice Ana's family has been hoping for.
"But I also want him to know that I believe in a God who has forgiven me for all the wrong things I have done," Wakefield said. "So I have come to the place where I have forgiven him."
As the right side of Wakefield's brain heals, she's fighting for everything. Not only a return to basketball, but other things she lost in the crash as well, like her sense of humor and her full smile.
"I can do the stuff I used to do, like little tricks with my face," she said, before making a funny face and then laughing. "I just love being able to smile, to show people how happy and joyful I am that I'm doing so well in my recovery."
Family, teammates and community members have rallied around Wakefield as she has fought her way back to health. Her father, David, posts videos to Facebook on a regular basis showing her ongoing recovery.
"My prayer has been the same from the start...That the person responsible will be held accountable, and that no other family has to go through the pain our family has had to endure," he posted Saturday.