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Injured hiker describes accident, injuries, recovery

By Laura Halm
Published On: May 19 2013 05:22:43 PM CDT
Updated On: May 19 2013 12:34:07 PM CDT
INJURED HIKER
BRISTOL, Tenn. -

About a dozen hikers were taken to local hospitals after a car hit them from behind during a parade.

On Sunday we sat down with Priscilla Spitzer, one of those hikers hurt in the cash, just before she was released from the hospital.

Spitzer says she was in town celebrating her ten-year anniversary of hiking the entire Appalachian Trail. She says never in a million years did she think her trip would include a stay at the hospital.

Spitzer had a hospital room full of hugs and well wishes Saturday afternoon after she was in a frightening accident. "I think I heard someone say 'Watch out!' and that was it," she said.

The Florida native says she has a broken rib, a large cut on her leg and bruises all over. Spitzer was marching with fellow hikers in the parade through downtown Damascus when a man driving a 1997 Cadillac hit hikers from behind. "I remember laying on the ground asking my husband what happened. Then I kept telling myself to move my feet, move my legs, move my arms," she said.

Spitzer was flown by helicopter to Bristol Regional Medical Center and says during that ride she had one concern. "I can't tell you how many times I laid there while they were taking me to the hospital thinking I'm never going to hike again," she told us.

Luckily, doctors say Spitzer will recover and she says she'll be hiking again soon.

For now her thoughts and prayers are with fellow hikers as well as the driver, who police say had an unspecified medical emergency. "I feel very bad for [the driver]. Yeah, I got hurt, but I'm going to be alright," added Spitzer.

She says while she may not come back and visit next year during Trail Days, she will definitely be back in the future.