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I-Team: Hingham Apple store crash victims face uncertain road to recovery

I-Team: Months after Hingham Apple store crash, victims face uncertain road to recovery
I-Team: Months after Hingham Apple store crash, victims face uncertain road to recovery 02:42

HINGHAM -- Two months after the deadly crash at an Apple Store in Hingham, more victims are filing lawsuits. Heather Eaton said since she was injured, her life has been a daily struggle. 

The 22-year-old from Marshfield was working three jobs, going to school, and dreamed of opening her own business. But, now she said she faces an uncertain future.

Grateful to be alive, Heather told the WBZ-TV I-Team that she does not remember much about the crash. Slipping in and out of consciousness, Heather said, "I thought I was going to die."

It happened last November, Heather and her best friend Soni Baker were in the store when a speeding SUV plowed through the glass front windows.

"I was telling myself to stay with me because I thought I was dying. Then I looked over at my friend Soni - she was bleeding from her mouth and I thought she was dead because she was also unconscious," Eaton told WBZ.

Both Soni and Heather were badly hurt in the crash that left one man dead and dozens of others injured.

Heather said she has a broken neck and multiple fractures throughout her back. She had her knee rebuilt and doctors told her she may need back surgery. Heather said she also has a brain injury that makes it difficult for her to communicate.

As for Soni, she had surgery on her foot and is also struggling with a brain injury. 

"These are lifelong injuries that we are going to have to deal with," Soni told the I-Team. 

Heather said all of this is taking a toll on them mentally and physically.

The two, now along with several others, represented by Attorney Doug Sheff, are suing the SUV driver, Apple, and the owners of the strip mall property for negligence. 

"This was 100% preventable," Sheff said. 

The lawsuit claims Apple and the property owner should have had protective bollards in front of the store. The barriers were installed days after the crash.

Sheff said they should have been there all along. 

"If you look around the county, and even around Massachusetts, you will see storefronts protected from this sort of thing. It wasn't done here. They didn't pay attention," he told WBZ.

Heather believes she has years of therapy and the possibility of more surgeries hanging over her head. It's a far cry from her active life and daily gym routine. She said doctors told her that her injuries may never heal and that "the road to recovery is 'who knows at this point.'"

The driver of the SUV, Bradley Rein, is charged with reckless motor vehicle homicide and reckless operation of a motor vehicle. He has pleaded not guilty and said it was an accident. He is currently free on bail.

The I-Team reached out to Rein, Apple, and the property owner for comment but did not hear back. 

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