Smith twins: 68 days in hospital, more than 19 months of recovery but crash driver never called us
Two brothers left with lingering injuries after they were struck by reckless driver Tracey Pitt have welcomed her conviction.
A jury this week found Pitt guilty of inflicting grievous bodily harm by reckless driving, as well as refusing to provide police with a breath sample following the January 29, 2012 collision. She was not charged with impaired driving.
But for twins Randolph and Rudolph Smith, the verdict has been a bittersweet experience.
“I'm not saying she didn't have any remorse, but she never displayed it the entire time in court,” Rudolph told The Royal Gazette. “It just didn't feel right to me.”
The 36-year-old men were struck by Pitt's car and dragged 40 feet on Woodlands Road, Pembroke, on the way to their nearby home on Euclid Avenue.
Pitt was arrested after admitting she'd had two glasses of red wine.
According to her testimony, she initially thought both men were dead.
The two brothers attended the trial and testified in court, but according to Rudolph, the first time they heard Pitt's voice was when they listened in the courtroom to the recording of her 911 call.
Added Rudolph: “She could have called to say everything was okay, she was glad to see us alive, instead of waiting 18 months to say she was sorry for what happened.
“The sentencing is justice for the Island. My thing is I would have preferred to get a phone call.”
Rudolph's four days in hospital pale in comparison to his brother's 64, but the ordeal left him with nightmares, panic attacks and uncontrollable bouts of tears.
He said doctors initially diagnosed it as post-traumatic stress syndrome.
“I tried to go across the road at the spot where it happened and I couldn't move when I got there,” he recalled. “My legs wouldn't work. The first two times or so were the hardest.”
He added: “I cried a lot — listening to music or watching TV, it would make me burst into tears. It's still an issue but it doesn't bother me as it did before.
“One thing I have to deal with is the idea of control. You have to give away that idea of being in control of things. I wasn't given that option; it was taken from me. Everything was just pulled out from under my feet.”
He believes his repeating nightmares of being struck are an attempt by his brain to make sense of something he can't consciously recall.
The brothers credit parents Rudolph and Willamae Smith for rallying around them — but they said their experience had made it difficult to open up and spend time around others.
Although neither of them remember being struck by Pitt's car, they bridle at the suggestion in court that they had been wrestling in the road at the time they were hit.
“To hear you're fighting in the middle of the road with somebody you've never fought with in 35 years, at 2.30am and just ten minutes from our house makes absolutely no sense,” Rudolph said.
The two remember chatting outside the nearby Bermuda Athletic Association about having to play football there in a few hours — and then waking up in hospital.
Rudolph got fractures through his left shin, extensive road rash and minor injuries to his head and chin.
Randolph almost lost his left leg, as well as broken fingers and a cracked shoulder. He is still uses a crutch, and can't go back to his courier job for Executive Messenger Services.
His brother, who was seeking work at the time of the accident, is currently living off social assistance.
“I don't know when I can go back to work,” Randolph said. “The last surgery I had on my leg was in January, when they took the rod out. Walking is still hard, but I'm really tired of being broke.
“Hopefully within the next month or so I can start doing a little something. I'm hoping to get sent away for surgery on my hand before Christmas.
“As soon as I can get a clean bill of health, I'm going back to work.”
He will not play sports again until 2015.
Rudolph is able to take part in games now and then to alleviate the boredom — but said he needs to remind himself what he can and can't physically do.
Added Rudolph: “I would really love to be working. It's boring doing nothing.”
Pitt is in custody ahead of her sentencing at the October arraignments session.
Randolph said: “The fact that she was found guilty of the act itself means I am happy with the verdict.
“I'm not upset with the process. They got her on something substantial.”
His brother added: “I'm not angry about it. What's done is done. We don't have to worry about it any more — the hard part's over.”