Brother of Crestview hit-and-run victim in ICU after motorcycle wreck

Ashleigh Wilde
Crestview News Bulletin

CRESTVIEW — The brother of a Crestview hit-and-run victim found himself in the intensive care unit after hitting a deer on Thursday morning.

Andrew Richards was traveling on U.S. Highway 90 around 5:30 a.m. when a deer entered the road in front of his motorcycle.

According to his mother, Suzanne Wilkins, an eyewitness told her that Andrew’s motorcycle hit the deer, causing both him and the deer to go airborne. His motorcycle continued down the road for another 30 feet.

“With that initial call, I was in pure shock,” Wilkins said. “I don’t think I’ve wrapped my head around it yet.”

Andrew was sent to the Fort Walton Beach Medical Center with serious injuries. The Medical Center is the same hospital that his sister, Ashley, was taken to after being hit by a car and left for dead in September.

“It’s like deja vu,” Wilkins said. “I could have never imagined that we’d be back where we started (with Ashley); it’s surreal. I feel like we are on a similar journey and for me it’s very different because Andrew is going to mend.”

According to Wilkins, Andrew suffered a broken hip, broken clavicle, broken shoulder blade, and eight multiple broken ribs. He had surgery Friday morning to repair the broken clavicle.

Wilkins said that while Andrew’s prognosis and next steps are unclear, he is doing well.

“He’s having a lot of pain, but he’s going to be OK,” Wilkins said.

Ashley was able to visit her brother in the hospital on Friday. Due to Ashley’s brain injury from the hit-and-run, Wilkins has had to explain Andrew’s situation to her multiple times.

“She understands what is happening in the moment,” Wilkins said. “When we were telling her earlier, she said ’I know. Andrew is sick.”

Wilkins said while Ashley doesn’t really remember her own hospital stay, they took some time during the trip to say hello to the doctors who treated Ashley during her hospital stay.

Ashley will have an evaluation on January 21 to begin her different therapies that are required for her rehabilitation, Wilkins said.