1 month after deadly DUI crash, teen survivor recovering well - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

1 month after deadly DUI crash, teen survivor recovering well

Ray Harig posed with his daughter Mickayla, who was seriously injured in a June 22 car crash in Hardin Co. (Source: Katie Bauer/WAVE 3 News) Ray Harig posed with his daughter Mickayla, who was seriously injured in a June 22 car crash in Hardin Co. (Source: Katie Bauer/WAVE 3 News)
Ray Harig shows off a tattoo he got in support of his daughter's recovery. (Source: Katie Bauer/WAVE 3 News) Ray Harig shows off a tattoo he got in support of his daughter's recovery. (Source: Katie Bauer/WAVE 3 News)
Brianna Taylor was driving the car that was involved in the crash with suspected drunk driver Michael Hilton. (Source: Steven Richard/WAVE 3 News) Brianna Taylor was driving the car that was involved in the crash with suspected drunk driver Michael Hilton. (Source: Steven Richard/WAVE 3 News)
Brianna Taylor was killed in the June 22 crash. (Source: Family photo) Brianna Taylor was killed in the June 22 crash. (Source: Family photo)
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – In the one month since a suspected drunk driver slammed into a car in Hardin County, killing Brianna Taylor and seriously injuring her passenger, Mickayla Harig, the teenage survivor is showing signs of improvement.

The girls were on their way home from a fishing trip on June 22 when they encountered Michael Hilton and his pickup truck at the intersection of Patriot Parkway and Deckard School Road. Hilton was headed east on Deckard School when he hit Brianna's car, which was going north on Patriot Parkway. Brianna, 17, died the day after the crash; Mickayla suffered a brain injury.

[PREVIOUS STORY: 17-year-old killed, 3 injured in Hardin County crash]

Hilton is charged with murder and aggravated DUI.

Last week, Mickayla was transferred from University of Louisville Hospital to Frazier Rehabilitation Center where the 18-year-old continues to progress. Ray Harig, Mickayla's father, said it is the small the victories they now look forward to. While Mickayla is currently in a wheelchair she just walked 200 feet using a walker.

[PREVIOUS STORY: Man accused of murder in Hardin Co. crash faces drug trafficking, organized crime charges]

"The progression that we've seen since the night the of the accident, we were up there that night- the progression that we've seen from then to now is amazing," said Larry Young, family friend.

Young and his wife Jessica have known Mickayla and her father Ray for several years and considers them family. That's why as soon as the accident happened Young knew he wanted to help. As owner of IA Studios, a tattoo parlor in Radcliff, his shop created a series of tattoos to represent Mickayla's spirit. They've raised more than $1300 for medical expenses.

"We've tattooed a few of the first responders to the accident," said Young. "We've met a lot of great people."

Ray Harig said his daughter does not remember the accident or anything before it. She was in a coma for nearly two weeks and didn't start to communicate until last Tuesday. Mickayla suffered extreme head trauma, but at this point the extent of her brain damage is unknown. On a scale of 1 to 10, Ray said Mickayla's brain is currently functioning at a level 5. On a daily basis, Mickayla is going through physical, occupational, and speech therapies.

Doctors tell Ray they are hopeful she will regain her memory. Ray says his daughter is strong and a fighter and he's been amazed at her progress.

[PREVIOUS STORY: Tattoos benefit teenager who survived deadly crash

Ray Harig said he never knew the Taylor family before the accident. Despite everything the Taylor family has been through he says they continue to visit and call to check on Mickayla's recovery.

"To see her spirits are so high even in the state she is at now, it's amazing," said Young.

IA Studios is just one local business coming together for a fundraiser for both the Harig and Taylor families. It's happening in Radcliff City Park on Sunday from 2-9. There will be live bands, food, face painting, and a silent auction.

For more information about IA Studios, click here or email them at iatattoosstudios@gmail.com

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