After surviving the brutal car accident that killed her mother, Makynsie Bancroft fought through tragedy to secure a bright future. On September 20, 2009, the teen was heading home with her mother, 14-year-old sister and three-year old brother when a 16-year-old driver struck their car. Bancroft’s mother soon passed away from internal decapitation, and Makynsie sustained multiple broken bones on the left side of her body. At a time of severe loss, Bancroft suddenly had to face a challenging physical recovery while dealing with financial setbacks.

A Life-Changing Accident

What began as a normal family outing quickly turned into a tragic event. Makynsie and her family were enjoying a visit to her father’s home on her mother’s birthday. But a teen girl who was texting while driving accidentally crossed the yellow road lines and crashed into the Bancrofts’ car head on. Makynsie’s 14-year-old sister lay unconscious beneath a shattered windshield, barely able to breathe through obstructed airways. Makynsie was overwhelmed with pain, but knew she had to act fast. She mustered the strength to unbuckle her brother, despite having a broken leg, elbow and clavicle among other injuries.

Bancroft’s hardship only increased after the crash. Makynsie’s mother had taken out a $300,000 life insurance policy to provide for her children in the event of her death. Unfortunately, Makynsie’s stepfather claimed the entire amount and chose not to give $100,000 to his stepdaughters as his wife intended.

Working Toward a New Future

Adversity only fueled the teen’s desire to work hard. Makynsie moved back in with her biological father, and at age 14, she took on part-time jobs to help the family make ends meet and save for college. Nearly ten years after the life-changing accident, Makynsie’s bottomless determination has helped her achieve the goal of attending Indiana University. She was honored as a “Rising Star of Indiana” and occupies her time with soccer, academic clubs and volunteering.

Makynsie’s personal experiences with surgery and physical therapy have even inspired her to pursue a medical career. While the path to recovery was long and frustrating, the teen admits supportive doctors were an important part of healing and feeling strong after a traumatic injury. Makynsie’s story serves as a reminder that distracted driving can take a serious emotional, physical and financial toll on victims. If you are the victim of an auto accident, speaking with a personal injury lawyer may help you get the financial support you need to cover medical costs and avoid debt.