New Haven Settles Police Car Crash Lawsuit For $10 Million
Gonzalez, unconscious, was rescued from her police cruiser and taken to Yale-New Haven Hospital where she remained in critical condition for weeks. She stayed in the hospital for a month-and-a-half.
Doctors soon discovered the severity of Gonzalez's injuries. She suffered a fractured skull and traumatic brain injury, a broken neck, shoulder and arm, and had respiratory failure requiring chest intubation.
Murphy said the fractures were treated non-surgically with braces.
Gonzalez was rendered a quadriplegic, meaning complete paralysis from the neck down, and has no bladder or bowel function. She is in a semi-conscious vegetative state and is almost exclusively tube fed.
"It's been very difficult on the family," said Murphy.
Gonzalez was divorced at the time of the accident. She has three children and two grandchildren.
"The family takes care of Diane with the help of nursing and VNA's," said Murphy. Her sister is her primary care taker."
Specifically, Gonzalez's care is overseen by her internist, Dr. Marianne Vahey and she receives visiting nurse services six days a week along with 24-hour certified nursing assistant services.
In her home, Gonzalez has a customized wheelchair, a hospital bed with an air mattress and other machines and bedding supports.
Murphy explained that a state police investigation following the crash concluded that both Aponte and Gonzalez were at fault for the collision and would not assess one driver more responsible than the other. Both drivers were going fast though it is unknown specifically how fast. Modules in each cruiser that could reveal such information were destroyed in the crash.