By Lauren Brant
On Sunday, June 18 family and friends learned that Faith and Jayla Brehmer of Rushville were in a single vehicle rollover accident and Faith was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries. The sisters were traveling to Angostura Lake, south of Hot Springs, S.D.
According to the South Dakota Highway Patrol, the accident occurred on Sunday at 12:15 p.m. on U.S. Highway 18 at mile marker 57, five miles north of Oelrichs, S.D. They were in a 2005 Hummer H2 traveling northbound on the highway in the outside lane when the vehicle drifted onto the right shoulder and the driver lost control. The vehicle traveled into the median, over an embankment, across the southbound lanes, and into the ditch where it rolled twice and landed next to a barbed wire fence.
The driver of the vehicle, Jayla Brehmer, 14, was wearing her seatbelt and was able to exit the vehicle. She was treated for minor injuries at Fall River Health Services in Hot Springs.
The South Dakota Highway Patrol, Fall River County Sheriff’s Office, Hot Springs ambulance, Oelrichs ambulance, fire department, and life flight crews reported to the scene. Faith Brehmer, 16, was not wearing her seatbelt and was ejected from the vehicle. She sustained life-threatening injuries. Faith was flown from the scene of the accident to Rapid City Regional Hospital in Rapid City, S.D. After being evaluated overnight by the staff, she was airlifted to The Children’s Hospital in Aurora, Colo.
Faith suffered a neck fracture, back fracture, shattered clavicle, brain bleed and a lacerated spleen. After a week, she has made progress and stayed strong. Faith stood up and walked around her hospital room over the weekend as she continues therapy.
Members of the community have come together to support the Brehmer sisters through lemonade stands, runs and a GoFundMe page. As of Monday afternoon, $11,173 has been raised through the page. To donate to the fund, visit https://www.gofundme.com/faith-brehmer-medical-fund. There is also a Faith to Faith 5K run/walk on July 15 at 8 a.m. in Gordon.
Faith returned home over the weekend of July 1 and remains surrounded by family and friends as she recovers. The doctors informed her that September is when she can start playing sports.