“My life is forever changed all because of that,” Bicyclist severely injured by distracted Oklahoma driver

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OKLAHOMA CITY - A cross country bicycling trek to raise money for charity turned into tragedy last July.

"I was a little over 2,000 miles into the trip when myself and Patrick got hit by a distracted driver in very rural Oklahoma," Bridget Anderson said.

Witnesses came to their aid while waiting for emergency crews to arrive.

Patrick died at the scene. Bridget was flown to OU Medical Center with injuries to her spine, arm and leg.

"Her injuries were severe enough that we told her she could lose her leg," Dr. William Ertl, OU Physicians orthopedic surgeon, said.

"It tore her artery behind her knee. It created a fracture of her lower thigh bone, and it almost looked like a shark took a bite out of her leg,” Dr. Ertl added.

According to the CDC, eight Americans a day are killed by distracted driving.

Anderson said the crash involved a woman on a cell phone on a rural highway.

"What led to me and Patrick's incident was three notifications for a real estate app," she said. "She must have been looking at those or something and now someone isn't living and my life is forever changed all because of that."

Dr. Ertl said they are seeing more incidents involving distracted driving.

The driver in this case has been charged with first-degree manslaughter and overtaking a bicycle.

Now one year and 10 surgeries later, the Florida resident is back in Oklahoma visiting the doctors, paramedics and witnesses who saved her life.

And she reached a milestone on Wednesday.

"I was frustrated and I knew I was coming to Oklahoma and so my goal was to walk into the doctor's office not using crutches, so I just accomplished that goal today," Anderson said.

Anderson is making the best out of a tragic situation.

"It's just been amazing, all of the good that's come from out of the very bad. We still have a very long ways to go but I'm ready for it,” she said.

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