Fifth-grader injured in crash to throw out first pitch


ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – An 11-year-old girl injured by a suspected drunk driver in a crash that killed her father tossed out the first pitch at the isotopes game Tuesday.

Megan Sanchez stood proudly on the mound during Tuesday night’s game against the Salt Lake Bees.
It’s been a long recovery for the little girl after she was injured by a suspected drunk driver in a crash that killed her father. Tuesday’s first pitch is a first for Magen Sanchez and it’s another step forward, moving closer to doing what she loves.

The 11-year-old has been practicing to take the mound at Tuesday’s Isotopes game and throw out the first pitch.

“I’m really excited, I haven’t done sports in a while,” said Sanchez.

After months of not walking, the fifth-grader still has a brace around her left leg. “I’m getting a little bit of the nerves back, so it’s really exciting,” explained Sanchez.

She has lingering injuries from a crash in January that changed her life.

State Police said suspected drunk driver, 27-year-old Jacob Williams drove his pickup over the center lane on Highway 109 outside Jarales, killing Sanchez’s dad, 51-year-old Daniel Sanchez, who was on his motorcycle. Magen was on the motorcycle, too.

“I think about my dad a lot and, I don’t really think about the accident, I just think good memories about my dad,” Sanchez explained. “Everybody tells me that it was a really big privilege to be holding him last so, that’s how I think of it.”

Sanchez told KRQE News 13 the road to recovery has been overwhelming at times. She has ups and downs with pain. She misses playing sports like gymnastics, volleyball, soccer and basketball.

But her weekly physical therapy is helping, enough for her to try some baseball. “I try to be as happy as I can,” she said.

Though it’s been windy, Sanchez said she’s practiced her pitch for the last two days and she’s ready to give it her all.

“I got about 90 percent of the throws that were good, so I’m really hoping that it’s a good pitch,” said Sanchez Tuesday afternoon.

Sanchez suffered nerve damage in her leg and can’t move her foot, but she hopes to be fully recovered within a year, and get back to playing sports.

Jacob Williams, the man who hit Sanchez and her dad, is awaiting trial. He’s already served six years in prison for a 2006 crash involving a couple riding another motorcycle. That driver also died and the female passenger was paralyzed.

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