Injured student requests IFC support with petition

By Christine Boike

NIU student Felicia Faia asked the InterFraternity Council Tuesday to sign a petition in favor of a maximum sentence for a driver who hit her earlier this year.

Faia, a corporate fitness major and a dance minor, was coming home from a party in New York on Jan. 4 with her boyfriend. She said they had heard a loud noise from their car and thought it was a tire blow out. He stopped the car on the shoulder of the road, and they both got out. Then, “I saw headlights coming at me,” Faia said.

For the first 48 hours after impact she said doctors were not sure if she would live.

Thomas Stribling, the man who hit her, was charged that night for driving under the influence, Faia said. Due to “red tape,” his driver’s license was not revoked until May 1.

The purpose of Faia’s petition is to get 10,000 or more signatures in favor of the maximum sentence if Stribling is found guilty.

She said the criminal case might not come to court for two or three years. The civil suit, filed by Faia for damages, might not come to court for another five to seven years.

Faia said Stribling wanted to plea bargain and give her the name of the bar he was drinking in so she could sue the bar. She did not want to agree to this since she could never prove Stribling was in the bar because the accident took place so long ago.

Stribling was not available for comment.

Illinois State’s Attorney Phil DiMarzio said from his experience a petition does not really help a situation.

owever, Faia said, “If I tell 10,000 people what happened to me and 10 people stop driving drunk,” it will make the difference.

The damage to Faia was in the lower half of both her legs with tibia/fibula fractures (the two major bones in the calf) in each leg. Both of the calf muscles in her right leg were torn off by the grill of the car that hit her, Faia said.

The last of her 12 operations was April 23 and was a success. After that, “little by little, I started to take steps” with a therapist, she said. Hospital bills alone, not including costs of the surgical team or Faia’s therapist, total about $285,000.