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Michigan Auto Law Car Accident Injury Survivor Scholarship 2018 winners announced

March 22, 2018 by Steven M. Gursten

Congratulations to Clemson University’s Kevin Granatino and Illinois State University’s Tristen Sharp, recipients of the 2018 Michigan Auto Law Car Accident Injury Survivor Scholarship

Congratulations to the winners of the Michigan Auto Law Car Accident Injury Survivor Scholarship for 2018
Kevin Granatino, a student at Clemson University in South Carolina (left), and Tristen Sharp, who attends the Illinois State University in Bloomington (right), are the winners of our 2018 Michigan Auto Law Car Accident Injury Survivor Scholarship.

Congratulations to the winners of our 2018 Michigan Auto Law Car Accident Injury Survivor Scholarship:

  • Kevin Granatino, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina
  • Tristen Sharp, Illinois State University, Bloomington, Illinois

We recognize them for their perseverance and strength of character and we’re grateful to them for sharing their inspiring stories with us.

Significantly, both Kevin and Tristen were critically injured as pedestrians, a fact that highlights a worsening safety crisis involving pedestrians who are being hit by cars.

Recovering from injuries sustained in a car crash is an extremely difficult, demanding and emotional task.

Our own auto accident attorneys know this based on our extensive experience helping car crash victims and representing them in court when insurance companies wrongfully deny or cut-off their No Fault benefits.

Never is this more true than when the victims are young people who struggle with and overcome the life-changing obstacles that follow in the wake of a serious auto accident.

Through our annual scholarship for college students, we strive to honor those victims as they continue to persevere through their recoveries and as they push forward to continue their educations.

They have already achieved much and we hope that with our help they can continue to achieve more and more.

Michigan Auto Law offers the Car Accident Injury Survivor Scholarship every year with a Dec. 31 deadline. For more information, including eligibility, the application form and the application deadline, please visit our Michigan Auto Law Car Accident Injury Survivor Scholarship page.

Who is Kevin Granatino, one of the winners of the 2018 Michigan Auto Law Car Accident Injury Survivor Scholarship?

Kevin had only two semesters to go before obtaining a Finance degree from Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina, when he stepped into a crosswalk that changed his life.

After being struck by a car that ran a red light, Kevin was airlifted to a trauma hospital and remained on life support for a month. With broken bones and a traumatic brain injury, he was not expected to survive. Miraculously, his condition improved.

But the road to recovery wouldn’t be an easy one.

After transfer to an acute rehabilitation hospital for intensive therapy, Kevin couldn’t sit up, walk or even speak. Determined to recover, however, Kevin explained in his application essay that he focused all of his energy on multiple types of intensive therapy just to get to 200 steps a day:

“When the plan called for 10 repetitions of an exercise, I challenged myself to do 20, always exceeding expectations and constantly striving for the upper limits of my capabilities.”

While his healing has been remarkable, Kevin’s time at Clemson went from 4 years to 8 years. He’s expected to earn his degree by May of 2019.

Who is Tristen Sharp, one of the winners of the 2018 Michigan Auto Law Car Accident Injury Survivor Scholarship?

Tristen was injured in two separate motor vehicle accidents, suffering brain injuries both times.

As a junior in high school, Tristen was crossing the street to attend church when she was struck by a car. Her injuries were so extensive that she had to spend three weeks in the Pediatric ICU after having a portion of her skull removed to reduce brain bleeding and swelling. She also sustained three pelvic fractures, a punctured lung and fractured sinus cavity.

The long road to recovery began for her in a rehabilitation unit: Tristen could not walk, talk or even swallow on her own. Once she recovered enough to return to high school, Tristen still suffered memory deficits and a reduced reading comprehension level. Her recovery continued to be an ongoing process as she headed off to college.

Sadly, during college, she was involved in another accident where a driver crossed the median of the interstate and struck head-on the vehicle she was riding in. Waking up once again with brain bleeds and a broken nose and neck, she underwent rehabilitation to rebuild her life … which she continues to this day.

Tristen is still enrolled at Illinois State University – pursuing a degree in Criminal Justice – but she requires academic accommodations for her learning disability.

In her essay, she explains what keeps her going:

“My struggles have been great, but my strength and determination has been so much greater … I choose not to dwell on these unfortunate circumstances and make every attempt to not let this world define me.”

Tristen now strives to help others understand an injury they cannot see – traumatic brain injuries.

Or, as Tristen calls it, “one of life’s most invisible injuries.”  She has documented her journey as well on her Facebook page “Tristen Tough” at https://www.facebook.com/tristentough/.

To understand more about brain injuries and how car accident survivors are affected, visit our Traumatic Brain Injury Resources page.

Michigan Auto Law Car Accident Injury Survivor Scholarship brings attention to dangers faced by pedestrians and pedestrian car accidents

While reviewing the applicants’ essays for this year’s awards, we saw a startling trend – many young people who were injured in auto accidents were pedestrians.

This is an alarming trend. Pedestrian injuries and fatalities are rising as more people are driving and walking while distracted.

As I told Kim Russell of WXYZ Detroit Channel 7, pedestrian deaths are up 11%, thanks to distracted driving and texting while driving.

This is consistent with findings from the Governors Highway Safety Administration, which estimated that just under 6,000 pedestrians lost their lives in 2017. The GHSA has also noted that pedestrians now account for a larger proportion of traffic fatalities than they have in the past 33 years.

What is the Michigan Auto Law Car Accident Injury Survivor Scholarship?

We understand how difficult it can be to recover after a serious car accident injury, especially for young car crash victims.

In order to recognize their struggles, acts of heroism and hard work, Michigan Auto Law offers its annual Car Accident Injury Survivor Scholarship to college students who were victims of car accidents earlier in their lives and who have overcome their injuries.

Our mission is to lend a hand to those who have survived serious crashes and who are demonstrating resolve and determination to rebuild their lives.

To learn more, please click on Michigan Auto Law Car Accident Injury Survivor Scholarship on the Michigan Auto Law Scholarships page.

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