RANDOLPH COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — After she was involved in one of the worst vehicle crashes first responders have seen, a Randolph County teen prepares for her first semester in college to help other people who find themselves in need of medical help.  

“I feel like it will be a lot easier for me to understand,” Lindsey Aldrich said.  

At 18, she is sure that being a nurse is where her passion is because she’s been in those people’s shoes.  

On Jan. 31, 2021, Lindsey was involved in a head-on crash along Zoo Parkway near Asheboro.  

She began to lose control of her vehicle as she neared a tight turn at Flag Springs United Methodist Church. She slid into on-coming traffic when she overcorrected her vehicle.  

“We were the first ones on scene. And when we got there…I didn’t think you were going to make it,” first responders, such as Deputy Riffe with the Randolph County Sheriff’s Office, told Lindsey more than a year later,

Riffe said the scene was haunting. So much so that he began to pray.  

He not only attended the church where the crash happened, but his pastor was nearby at the time. She came over and prayed with the deputy.  

“If you’ve got faith the size of a mustard seed then you can move mountains. I had faith without any doubt. Now, it’s a miracle,” Riffe said.

Lindsey ended up with a collapsed lung, broken skull, fractured clavicle and paralyzed vocal cords.  

She spent months in the hospital and going through intense rehab.  

By May, however, Lindsey would walk the stage at her high school graduation.  

She still has trouble with her memory though. “I can’t remember between August of 2020 and August of 2021…It’s like I didn’t exist for a whole year,” she said.

On Friday, May 13, as Lindsey finished her application process to attend UNC Wilmington, she met, for the first time, with Deputy Riffe, his pastor and the other first responders who saved her life.  

“Most of the time, you never see them again. So this is truly amazing to see her standing here…I think it’s going to be a great thing. I think she’s going to be a great worker in the medical field, and I think you’ll probably save people’s lives too,” Riffe said.