PLANO (CBSDFW.COM) – It’s a photograph that captured the incredible bond between a crime victim, back from the brink of death, and the Plano police officer determined to get her justice.
Rita Deysarkar was critically injured in February 2015 by a drunk driver who, police said, was traveling 114 mph when he plowed into her car. When officers arrived at the bloody scene over a year ago, “It was one of the most horrific accidents I had ever seen. It didn’t look good at all,” recalled Plano Police Department Officer Morgan Helmberger.
Helmberger was told the victim had only a six percent chance of surviving, and her organs would likely be harvested. “I was told she probably isn’t going to make it,” she said.
The officer started working on her manslaughter case against the drunk driver, 32-year-old Christopher Wall. Months later, Helmberger learned that the victim survived. “I was so desperate to see her so I could see with my own eyes that she was actually alive after that accident. I didn’t think that was possible,” she said.
“I had my spleen taken out, my stomach was turned upside down,” Deysarkar said.
Deysarkar emerged from a coma after six weeks. She couldn’t remember what happened. But her family posted that the officer’s anger, tears and compassion during six hours of testimony played a role in a judge’s decision to sentence Wall to the maximum of 20 years in prison.
“I just thank you so much for my life,” said Deysarkar to the officer.
Deysarkar got an apology in court from the defendant, but said that it came only when he was seeking a reduced sentence.
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