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Cayla Wilson's family awarded $9 million

Wilson in vegetative state since 2010


The family of Cayla Wilson of Gresham, who is still in a vegetative state after being seriously injured when her car was hit by an impaired driver in 2010, has been awarded $9.3 million in settlement from a lawsuit against the city of Portland and Clackamas County, according to KOIN TV News.

Wilson was 19 and five months pregnant when Jack Dean Whitaker, a convicted felon high on meth, slammed his Jeep into her car in southeast Portland. Wilson's daughter, JaiKyla, was delivered by emergency C-section about six weeks later, according to the report.

Whitaker had been stopped earlier by a Portland police officer but was not arrested even though he was high on meth at the time.

The city of Portland claimed the officer followed Department of Justice guidelines but the family's suit claimed Whitaker should have been arrested since there were two reports of erratic behavior that were not thoroughly followed up on.

Whitaker has a long history of drug charges and previous charges of assault and reckless driving, and was sentenced to the maximum 11-year prison sentence.

According to KOIN, of the $9.3 million settlement, the Clackamas County Corrections Department and Whitaker's parole officer must pay $4.8 million, with $4.5 million to be paid by the city of Portland and the officer who responded to two 9-1-1 calls about Whitaker the day of the crash.

Wilson is the daughter of Bill and Denise Wilson, and the report includes a quote from her father about why he's glad Cayla is still alive.

"I feel God chose to let her live," he said. "She started breathing the fourth day, and on the second day they wanted us to pull the plug."


Updated to correct typographical errors.



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