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Family wants answers after son severely injured in alleged drunk driving crash

ADA, Okla. -- A former Oklahoma police officer is accused of hitting a motorcyclist while driving drunk.

According to a report, Adam Vanlandingham made an improper left turn into the wrong lane, causing Jerome Carter to hit him.

As a result of the crash, Carter was left with brain trauma, broken bones and bruised lungs.

"My son was on life support for so many weeks," said Iva Carter, Jerome's mother.

After being in a coma for about a month and undergoing more than 12 surgeries, Carter's family is hopeful he will recover from his injuries.

"Jerome Carter, he's my only son, he's a terrific young man," his mother said.

Although they are praying for Jerome's recovery, his family is also left with questions regarding the crash that left their loved one in the hospital.

According to court documents, troopers with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol reported smelling alcohol on Vanlandingham's breath at the crash scene.

The report states that he admitted to having six to seven beers earlier in the day, but did not think he was heavily intoxicated.

"Why was he not arrested that day?" said Larzara Gonzalez, Carter's friend.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol said troopers didn't know the full extent of Carter's injuries, and said an immediate arrest could actually hinder the case.

They argue that if Vanlandingham was arrested and immediately pleaded guilty to a DUI complaint, prosecutors would not be able to charge him with a more serious offense.

"This man has a DUI record; this is not his first time. How could he have possibly been allowed to leave the scene of the accident?" said Gonzalez.

Vanlandingham, a former officer with the Ada Police Department, pleaded guilty to DUI in 2017 and received a deferred sentence.

Earlier this month, a warrant was issued for Vanlandingham's arrest for driving under the influence with a blood alcohol content of .08 or more resulting in great bodily injury.

When News 4 contacted Vanlandingham, he said he had no idea a warrant had been issued for his arrest.

"I did not, I have to talk to my attorney," he said.

Now, the family is begging him to come forward and face the charge.

"Now I plead with Mr. Adam Vanlandingham, please sir, if you hear me, please turn yourself in," said Iva Carter.