BUTLER COUNTY, Ohio (FOX19) - Months after a Middletown woman nearly died in a chase that ended in a fiery crash, she has made a miraculous recovery, but the investigation is still ongoing.
Although her life has been forever changed, Megan Riley is thankful to be alive. The 20-year-old went to a bonfire with friends in Preble County in September 2020 and ended up spending months in the hospital.
After a fight at the party escalated, Riley said she left the area in her vehicle, but someone followed her and tried to run her off the road.
“I ended up getting chased, and unfortunately, I got in a severe wreck, and my car had caught fire with me inside of it,” Riley said. “When I looked around and saw the flames everywhere, I just said, ‘It can’t end like this. I have to get out, now.’”
Somehow, Riley said she got herself out of the vehicle, but not without severe injuries. According to family members, Riley then spent months in a coma, medically paralyzed, and at times, on life support.
Riley’s mother, Merideth Gasaway, said 75 percent of her daughter’s body was burned in the blaze.
Gasaway said doctors at Miami Valley Hospital used different kinds of technology to save Riley’s life.
“The skin grafts that she had were cadaver, which is donated skin,” Gasaway said. “At Miami Valley, she was the first recipient of spray-on skin.”
Riley was released from the hospital in January and is now walking and talking. She has undergone physical rehabilitation and speech therapy.
Although impressed with Riley’s incredible comeback, her family members think her journey is far from over. They started a “Justice for Megan” Facebook page because they believe the people who are responsible for what happened to Riley should pay the price with criminal charges.
“Somebody needs to be held accountable, because looking back and counting just what I knew of, Megan almost died four times,” Gasaway said.
Riley said her hair is growing back, but she may have to wear braces on her legs for the rest of her life due to her injuries.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol investigated the wreck, but the Preble County Sheriff’s Office is handling the rest of the investigation. It is not clear if anyone will soon face criminal charges.
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