LONG BEACH (CBS2) — A woman who was seriously injured in a three-car crash in Long Beach earlier this month is speaking out about the accident that killed one of her closest friends.

The Nov. 2 collision happened around 10 p.m. on the southbound lanes of the 710 freeway.

27-year-old Heather Dean said she’ll never forget the moment paramedics and firefighters struggled to cut her from her mangled car.

“They asked if anyone else was in the car and I said, ‘Yes, my friend Trisha is in the car, but she’s passed, she’s no longer with me.’ I can honestly say she didn’t suffer, that’s how I know how bad the car accident was,” said Dean.

Police said the 33-year-old man who caused the impact was drunk when he drove his Chevy Tahoe on the wrong side of the freeway.

“People get behind the wheel. They think one drink is fine, two drinks…no,” said Dean.

Dean said she was also always the person who was careful about drinking and driving.

She was never afraid to take the car keys away from a friend who had too much alcohol.

“I was always that person. And now I’m here,” she said.

Dean, who has been in the hospital since the crash, said it’s just the beginning of her recovery.

“I have to learn how to walk and re-learn how to do everything again,” she said.

Meanwhile, the suspected drunk driver is due in court Dec. 4.


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