Less than two weeks into their first semester at the University of Colorado Boulder, Jasmine Floyd and Anthony Maravi were severely injured after being hit by a driver who faces drunken driving charges.
Now, they’re trying to find a way to move forward.
Maravi said he’s doing better now and has returned to his classes, but Floyd won’t be coming back this semester due to her injuries. Maravi said he struggled with feeling guilty and said it’s been a lot to process.
“I always like to take care of people around me,” Maravi said. “I kept on thinking (about) the routes we could’ve gone that isn’t Baseline or how I could’ve reacted differently.”
Maravi and Floyd were walking to Williams Village on the sidewalk of the CU Boulder campus a little after midnight Sept. 9, when they were struck by a driver trying to make a U-turn.
Floyd and Maravi met earlier that day through mutual friends. After a night out, Maravi offered to walk Floyd back to her dorm to make sure she got home safely.
As they were walking, Maravi said, he heard a loud sound behind him and saw a car coming straight at them. He said he remembers seeing the car and Floyd, who he said had frozen, and attempted to shield her as best he could.
The driver of the car attempted to make a U-turn on Broadway, jumped the curb and hit Maravi and Floyd on the sidewalk, according to an affidavit sworn in the case.
Jordan Hemstreet, 24, of California, was arrested by Boulder police on suspicion of driving under the influence, reckless driving, reckless vehicular assault, driving a vehicle on a suspended license and having no proof of insurance.
Floyd’s father, Chris Floyd, said even though Maravi tried to protect her the best he could, because of her small stature she was thrown 50 feet, smashing her head and body. Maravi hit the windshield of the car.
Maravi said he woke up on the ground shortly after the crash and was unable to breathe, with the wind knocked out of him. The driver of the car was there and asking if he was OK, Maravi said. He was then loaded into an ambulance.
Because Maravi was conscious, paramedics were able to ask him questions to make sure he didn’t have brain damage. Maravi was released from the hospital Sept. 12. He had multiple injuries, including a broken wrist, concussion, lacerated liver, bruises and cuts.
Floyd’s injuries were more severe. Her father said she suffered multiple cracked ribs, a broken collarbone and a large gash on her head that needed 32 stitches. She was unconscious when she arrived at the hospital, where she was induced into a coma.
“There were six or seven hours where we didn’t even know if she was alive or not,” Chris Floyd said.
Her parents found out about the accident when her mother, Kelly Floyd, suddenly had a feeling something was wrong. She hadn’t heard from her daughter in a while, and when she checked Floyd’s location, it showed she was at a hospital.
When Kelly Floyd called her daughter’s cellphone, a police officer answered. Authorities hadn’t identified Floyd yet, and her mom was able to do so. Her parents hopped on the first flight they could book from California to Colorado and arrived by 11 a.m. Sept 9.
Chris Floyd said the hours-long wait to find out whether their daughter was alive and the travel time to get to her was unbearable.
“It was absolutely excruciating,” he said. “It’s a pain you can’t even describe.”
Right before he boarded the plane he called the hospital one more time, hoping for good news. A hospital staffer said Floyd had just woken up and could talk to him. He said he immediately broke down in tears and couldn’t even speak. The first thing Floyd said was “Daddy, where are you,” and he said he couldn’t even get words out.
“I just tried to tell her I’d be there as fast as I can,” he said.
‘I broke down’
Jasmine Floyd was released from the hospital Sept. 12 but had to stay in Boulder until Sept. 16 for follow-ups with the hospital. She then traveled home to California. Her father said she has to , recover from her broken bones and see multiple specialists for her speech, an ear, nose and throat doctor and a therapist for the mental trauma of the crash.
Because of the concussion, she can’t watch TV or use her phone. Her mother plans to take off work for the next few months to take care of her, Chris Floyd said. The best-case scenario, he said, is that his daughter’s recovery will be completed in three to four months.
“Luckily she’s alive, and that’s all that matters,” he said, adding, “She will eventually make a full recovery, thank God.”
Jenny Garces, Maravi’s mom, said she’s thankful her son is alive.
“I thought I was really strong, and I was strong in the hospital, but when I got home I broke down,” she said.
The week after the incident, Garces went to her doctor and was prescribed antidepressants. She had finished recovering from open-heart surgery in July and was still recovering from a hysterectomy at the time of the crash.
“It was all too much,” she said.
When he was released from the hospital, Garces said, Maravi went home to Dacono to recover. He came back to school Sept. 14 on one crutch and with a cast for his wrist.
Garces said her son will need physical therapy and counseling.
“Now we have to pay bills, medical bills, and we’re responsible for everything,” she said.
Garces said her son is an “amazing” young man who works hard, cares about people, has good grades and is healthy and active. He attended Pueblo Community College before transferring to CU Boulder this fall to study psychology.
Right after the crash, she said, he was crying all the time and blaming himself, saying things like they should’ve walked on the other side of the sidewalk. She said he was upset, because he told Floyd he’d walk her home so she’d be safe — but then this happened.
Chris Floyd said he’s angry about what took place and sad for his daughter. He said she was an 18-year-old girl away from home for the first time, happy to be at the school she was so excited to attend and had worked so hard to get there.
“It’s hard to accept,” he said. “It’s hard to put your children back out into the world after this.”
He said his daughter is not doing well, and the physical and emotional pain is bad. She frequently asks why this happened to her and why the pain won’t stop. He said she’s smiling one minute and crying the next because she doesn’t understand why this occurred, and he said he doesn’t know if she’ll ever get past it.
However, Floyd is hoping to return to school at CU Boulder in the spring semester. She wants to study history and be a professor.
Even less than 24 hours after the crash, her dad said, Floyd was asking if she could go back to school. He said it was one of the first things she said when he saw her at the hospital.
“It was amazing, because I thought this was going to break her,” he said. “It shows so much grit, and it was amazing to hear. I was so proud of her.”
Lack of support ‘unreal’
Chris Floyd is committed to making sure his daughter gets her education, but said dealing with CU Boulder since the crash has been “insane.”
He said the university wanted her to go to different places on campus to fill out paperwork when she was physically unable to do so. He also said the school gave them 48 hours to vacate her dorm, because she hadn’t been in class.
“They’re treating her like she’s withdrawing from school like she’s a normal student,” he said.
He claimed nobody from CU Boulder reached out to show concern or share next steps on how to get her back in school. The university is also requiring that Jasmine Floyd reapply for the spring semester if she wants to come back.
“The lack of support is unreal for a school of that size,” he said.
Garces said she was concerned about Maravi getting penalized for missing class due to the crash, but nobody at CU Boulder responded to her calls and emails. She was supposed to get a new case manager, Garces said, but said no one contacted her. Nobody called to check in on how they were doing or provide next steps, she said.
Additionally, she said Floyd was essentially missing from her dorm and classes for five days — and yet, nobody reached out to her parents.
“Those kids were almost killed,” Garces said. “They were in the ICU and on the news, and (CU Boulder) didn’t care.”
She said Maravi was eager to get back to classes but she didn’t want him to go back.
“I don’t want Anthony to be there because they don’t care about human beings and just see him as a number and money,” she said.
A CU Boulder spokesperson said the university cannot discuss the specifics of the situation due to privacy laws, but that there are support resources for students going through challenging situations.
Student Support & Case Management at CU Boulder reaches out to support students following personal events that could impact their education, such as hospitalizations and emergencies. The spokesperson said SSCM provides support to students by connecting them with campus partners, community resources and support systems.
“While SSCM’s procedures include outreach to impacted students, another way to connect with the department is through referral,” the spokesperson said. “Anyone can refer a student to SSCM, and we encourage students to engage with their case manager, who is there to help them get through their challenging situation and succeed.”
Maravi is expected to make a full recovery in about two months. Ever since he found out Floyd was going to be OK, he said, he’s been able to be calm and process some of it. He said he’s been talking to his family and friends, which has also helped. He and Floyd have also stayed in touch, checking in on one another occasionally to see how the other is doing.
Chris Floyd said his goal is to get his daughter back on campus so she can pursue her dreams at the school she was so excited to attend.
“I just want people to understand that Jasmine is such a good girl, and she did not deserve this. And we just want her to get better and go back to school,” he said.