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UPDATE: Marine Lance Cpl. Chris Matthews and Daughter are Recovering

By   /   May 2, 2014  /   Comments Off

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The Matthews family suffered life-threatening injuries in a crash in Joshua Tree on April 13, 2014


TheDesertSun.com-Two and a half weeks after a high-speed crash on Highway 62 sent five people to the hospital, a High Desert Marine and his infant daughter are recovering in Loma Linda, no longer on the brink of death.

Lance Cpl. Chris Matthews, 28, and his 1-year-old daughter, Dakota, are recovering at the Loma Linda University Medical Center, according to family members.

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Matthews, a military policeman at the Marine base in Twentynine Palms, is currently in a wheelchair but is expected to make a full recovery. He has had several surgeries, and recently began physical therapy, sister-in-law Stephanie Ensley said Wednesday.

Dakota is now conscious, and slowly being weaned off a ventilator, Ensley said. Doctors were initially concerned the girl may lose function in her legs and one eye, but Dakota recently showed movement in her legs and good sight in both eyes.

“When she first went in, it did look grim. It looked like she wasn’t going to make it,” Ensley said. “But every day, she is improving.”

Ensley said family members thanked God for the recovery of their loved ones.

Ensley added that, although Dakota’s condition is improving, she has not moved her arms since being admitted to the hospital.

The Matthews family suffered life-threatening injuries in a crash in Joshua Tree on April 13. The family was driving east on Highway 62, returning home from a shopping trip in Yucca Valley, when a suspected drunk driver crossed the center lane of the highway, causing a head-on crash.

The collision fatally injured Angela Matthews, Chris’ wife and Dakota’s mother. She died two days later at Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs.

Angela Matthews moved to Twentynine Palms last year to join her husband at the high desert base. The family is originally from Georgia.

The suspected drunk driver, Jennifer Marie Zapata, 22, of Magna, Utah, was arrested by the California Highway Patrol before being flown to the hospital for treatment. Her passenger, Evelyn Martinez, was also hospitalized. For the rest of this>link


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