It was the answer to the question that lingered for many in the back of their minds, but no one had asked.
, fiancée of , was intoxicated at the time of her car accident Oct. 2, 2009. Her blood alcohol content was .16—twice the legal limit of .08.
The family never asked to see her blood tests from that night. They were focused on moving forward. If you ask them, they will say a number on a piece of paper mattered much less than the girl fighting for her life in a hospital bed. They never asked, they say, maybe because they didn't want to know, but also because they felt they didn't need to. To each of them, what mattered most was the process to bring Ramos back to them.
In late April, the family decided to pursue the results as a formality for follow-up CT scans. Though the number offered her family some clarity on her state of mind, delving deeper into that night also raised more questions.
The accident report and police report from Hometown Fire and Police (the departments on the scene) reflect what they had already known from information trickling in that night. According to reports, a driver on the road behind her that night told police that she was driving at "what appeared to be normal speed" when he observed her car "spin around several times" before hitting the pole. It was raining, near dawn on Oct. 2, 2009.
The police report indicates that she was unresponsive and trapped in the car when units arrived on the scene; family had heard, and later read, in hospital intake reports that Juliana had gotten out of the car and collapsed.
In the accident report, police on the scene noted that she was not wearing a seatbelt; her stepfather, Don Barnes, recalls seeing the seatbelt cut when he saw her car the day after the crash.
The report also notes that the airbags did not deploy; her family had been told that because the passenger side of the car received the brunt of the damage, the front airbags would not have deployed.
The report includes the officer's interpretation of primary and secondary causes of the crash—primary noted as "weather," and secondary listed as "unable to determine." Officers on the scene categorized Ramos' condition as "had been drinking."
After her mother informed Ramos of her state that night, Ramos expressed a desire to speak out against drinking and driving. Ramos' fiancé Medina and Ramos' mother Janet Barnes have described her attitude as "adamant." The knowledge that she had been drinking has seemed to inspire an acceptance within Ramos. As shown in , her family and therapists have noticed a distinct shift in her mood and attitude. She has become an active participant in her own recovery.
Two years later, Juliana Ramos seems to have found acceptance—and motivation—in a number. Today, she shares her own story.