Good Samaritan loses legs helping crash victim

Dani Hagmann, who lost her legs after helping a crash victim (NBC News photo)
Dani Hagmann, who lost her legs after helping a crash victim (NBC News photo)

LEE COUNTY, Florida (WBBH) — A Florida mother of five faces a tough new reality after stopping to help when she saw an accident on the interstate.

Early Sunday morning, Dani Hagmann was driving home alone on I-75 in Fort Myers.

“I was tired, and I thought did that really just happen?” she recalls.

The only other car on the road in front of her lost control and crashed. Hagmann knew she had to stop and help.

“So I pulled up and ran over to her. She was crying and upset,” she explained.

Hagmann called 911 then waited with the woman for emergency crews.

“She was shaking and in shock, are you cold honey? Well, I have a blanket in the back of my car. I”ll go and get it,” she remembers.

Not seeing any cars coming, Hagmann went to grab the blanket.

“I heard a bang, and I just felt it…and I felt the car hit me,” she said.

Hagmann was pinned between the two cars and quickly began losing a lot of blood. She had to have both legs amputated.

“My kids… they are the only thing that got me through that.  I thought no, I’m coming home to you, and I’m not leaving you without a mother. I’m coming home to you,” she said.

She was rushed to the hospital and immediately went into surgery. Then, she learned of the extent of her injuries.

“So I asked my wife, how much of them are gone? and she was like above your knees, and I said OK,” remembers Hagmann.

She had to have both legs amputated.

Meanwhile, the driver Hagmann stopped to help is under investigation. Troopers are waiting on toxicology results.

Hagmann is now relying on the support of her family, who says she is a fighter.

“She sat up from laying, lifting her legs, she’s already determined. she’s not going to take away where she’s going in life,” said Lyndsey Johns, Hagmann’s wife.

Hagmann says her biggest worry is her five kids, ranging in age from 10 years to 8 months.

“That’s hurting her the most, not being home with them,” said Sandy Rieser, Hagmann’s mom.

Her children are the force driving her to recovery.

“I don’t intend to ride out of rehab in a wheelchair. I will walk out in my prosthetics, and I will walk to all of my kids’ things, and I will take them to the beach, and I will do all the things I intended to do with them this summer. I don’t consider that a long road, it is what it needs to be and I’m going to get it done, the end,” she said.

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