Victim says uninsured driver cost her more than money


SHAWNEE, Okla. — A woman is the victim of a head-on collision in Shawnee.

She said her injuries have changed her life forever.

Iona McCleary had auto insurance but authorities said the man who hit her did not.

McCleary now struggles just to use a walker.

Intense pain has been a part of her life ever since April 26.

That’s when she suffered multiple broken bones after being hit head-on along N. Kickapoo Rd.

“It just happened in seconds,” she said. “I’ve got grand babies that I can’t hardly hold because I’m afraid I’ll drop them with my arm.”

According to a Shawnee police report, a car swerved into her lane while speeding and passing cars in a no-passing zone.

The report states that driver was 22-year-old Destry Jackson.

According to court records, Jackson has plead guilty to two misdemeanor cases of domestic abuse and one felony case of domestic abuse.

McCleary was told he did not have auto insurance.

On top of that, McCleary did not have uninsured motorist coverage on her auto policy.

She now owes at least $50,000 in medical bills and believes suing Jackson wouldn’t help pay the bills.

“He has nothing,” she said. “It’s very unfair. I mean, I feel like I’m paying for his stupidity.”

“Sometimes you can find some assets out there that you didn’t know, at first glance, existed,” attorney Ed Abel said.

He said McCleary needs legal help to find out if the driver was on the job, borrowing someone else’s car or was still covered by an auto policy that was under a “grace period.”

Also, an auto policy holder has to actively sign off on waiving “uninsured motorist” coverage.

McCleary said she doesn’t remember doing that.

McCleary may also receive financial help from the state’s Crime Victims Compensation Act.

It depends on what charges may be filed against Jackson.

“As long as it’s the subject of a crime,” Abel said. “There has to be a crime involved.”

McCleary said Shawnee Police told her they will be filing charges against Jackson soon.

“He’s never once showed up and said ‘I’m sorry, is there anything I can do to help you?'”

McCleary said, “I just have no respect for anybody like that.”