EXCLUSIVE: Woman shares road to recovery story after being hit by drunk driver

A Thomaston woman spoke to Channel 3 about her recovery after she was hit by a drunk driver.
Published: Dec. 14, 2022 at 12:36 AM EST|Updated: Dec. 14, 2022 at 7:14 AM EST
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THOMASTON/WATERTOWN, CT (WFSB) – A Thomaston woman said she has been putting her life back together ever since she was struck by a man who drove under the influence.

Brianna Lanzara was changing a tire on the right shoulder of Route 8 in Watertown when a driver struck her and her family.

State police said 44-year-old Jason Torsiello was under the influence when he drove into her family’s cars.

“I guess a drunk driver swerved over both lanes and hit Daniel’s father’s car, which hit Daniel’s car, and totaled three cars, which in the process hit me. And somehow, I got flung or trapped or something,” Lanzara said.

Lanzara said she woke up two days later in the ICU. She underwent multiple surgeries and physical therapy. Months later, she has still been learning how to walk again.

“I could have definitely lost my life, if not my leg, or been paralyzed. So, I got lucky. It is scary to think that two months ago I was there, and now I’m in a whole different place,” she said.

Lanzara said she is lucky to be alive. She has been living with her boyfriend and her dog Coco.

She hopes to go back to college. In the meantime, she said she’s looking for justice. But for her, that means more than time behind bars.

“Addiction runs in my family. And my mom is incarcerated right now for addiction problems. So as much as I was upset about what happened, yes it’s his fault, yes he did wrong, but if he really has an issue with alcohol he may need help,” Lanzara said.

She said the crash re-shaped her life, and she hoped it’ll change Torsiello’s as well.

“So he deserves jail time, but he needs rehab. He needs help. He goes to jail for six months and then comes out and he will end up doing it again, but the next person might not be as lucky as me,” Lanzara said.

She urged people to not drive under the influence.

Torsiello has a court hearing a week from Monday.

Those who wish to help Lanzara can visit her GoFundMe page.

A Thomaston woman is putting her life back together after she was struck by a man driving under the influence.