She remembers the blue sky above and the clouds. And reminding herself to breathe.
It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon on July 14, 2019, and Diana Mouton and her boyfriend were cruising Highway 66 on his new motorcycle. They were pleasure cruising, passing the time while their dog was at the groomer. There was a stop at Pops in Arcadia for a drink, and then a rush to get back on the bike and ride.
When the couple had almost left Luther’s town limits headed eastbound, it all went wrong. There was a backup of traffic at 66 and Dobbs, a motorist turning north, and a crash. Diana remembers the accident in flashes but not necessarily the pain or the gore. She remembers the clouds and the sky and the breathing. And she knew something was way wrong with her leg.
Luther Police Officer Chris Fetters said she had a double compound fracture of her right leg. He was pretty certain she would lose it. Radio communication, per usual, was difficult. A helicopter was called but didn’t come. But while the ambulance made its way to the scene, Fetters applied a tourniquet and kept her stable as fellow first responders worked the scene.
Three months after the accident, Diana came back to Luther to say thank you to Officer Fetters. She was about to start back to work and Officer Fetters is about to leave LPD for another opportunity. They exchanged memories of the accident, and talked motorcycles. They both remain motorcycle fans. She told him she has had three surgeries, ultimately removing her leg at the knee and spent ten days in the hospital and ten at a rehabilitation facility. She has been approved for a prosthetic and meanwile has learned to maneuver her wheelchair, although she joked the door facings in her home are torn up. He told her he remembered getting the call that there was a motorcycle accident, and he raced to the scene with dread.
A sharp sense of humor, Diana referred to herself as “Lt. Dan,” the character in the movie Forest Gump who lost his legs in the war. She counts herself lucky despite the trauma and losing a limb, and is ready to go back to work and put some “normal” back into her life.
She is grateful to Officer Fetters, the nurse who lived nearby whose voice she remembers, and the paramedic who made her stay awake on the way to the hospital, even though she said he was a little annoying.
“I don’t remember the bad parts. I remember a beautiful day and when I woke up (in the hospital), everyone I love was all around me,” she said.
Both Officer Fetters and Diana agree that wearing a helmet saved her life and the life of her boyfriend, since their helmets were destroyed in the accident. She would add that gloves are also a must-wear accessory. She also suffered wounds and nerve damage on her hands in the accident that sent her skidding for 162 feet between impact and rest. The other motorist in the accident was not at fault, Fetters said.
After the visit and before going home to Del City, Diana and her companion drove over to the scene of the accident. She said she was ready. It was a sunny day, and she remembered to breathe.