After a long road to recovery, 19 year-old Riley Russell is back again, singing with her band mates.
One year ago on January 13, 2012, Riley was hit by a drunk driver after a band rehearsal with Darby Mills of Headpins fame.
Russell was nearly killed, sustaining compound fractures to her femurs, broken ankles, broken feet, as well as internal and facial injuries. The accident affected not only her life, but also the lives of her family and friends.
"My family have helped me a lot," she said.
"They would literally carry me wherever I needed to go."
One week after the accident, members of the Band Factory program at Wentworth Music put on a benefit concert for Russell, which raised over $4,000 for the recently announced MADD 911 sign campaign.
This campaign will strategically place signs around Kelowna asking people to call 911 if they see a drunk driver.
"Noel Wentworth has done an amazing job keeping the story alive," said Riley.
"Drunk driving has to stop and it's nice to see someone as passionate as he is about getting the message out."
As the one year anniversary to the accident arrives, Russell’s band, “The Hits,” along with three other bands from the Wentworth Band Factory, will be performing at Duffers Banquet Hall at Mission Creek Golf Course to raise money for her band to travel to Nelson, where they will perform and receive transfer credit to Selkirk College’s Music and Technology program.
“It’s really been quite the roller coaster of emotions this last year watching one of our students and her family go through this,” explains Noel Wentworth, Vice President of Education at Wentworth Music and organizer of the fundraising event.
“For me, this kind of accident was always something that happened to someone else. After what she’s been through this year, seeing Riley back on stage is honestly inspiring.”