At 11:35, Mr. Nicolopoulos was in the Walgreen's parking lot. Our clients, M.M. and N.S. were attempting to go to McDonalds for late night food. Realizing the McDonalds was closed, they turned right to exit from the lot joined with the Walgreen's parking lot onto Highway 101. They saw Mr. Nicolopoulos approach from the left and stopped to let him go. Mr. Nicolopoulos also stopped. Our client waived him to go twice, but he didn't move. As a result, our client believed he was being cordial and letting them go. As they started to turn right to exit, Mr. Nicolopoulos struck them from the left side. Since our client was an Uber and Lyft driver part time, he had a dash cam that was running and all of this first impact was captured on video. Unfortunately, this was not the end of the event.
After the first crash, our clients got out of the vehicle to look at the damage caused by the crash. As they stood near the back right of the car, Mr. Nicolopoulos backed up and then hit the accelerator. MM pushed his wife forward and tried to run. Mr. Nicolopoulos hit him, pinning his body between the cars. But, this wasn't enough. While MM was on the ground yelling for his wife to get their baby out of the car and run, Mr. Nicolopoulos backed up and tried to run MM over. Event Data Recorder ("black box") data obtained by the police show that Mr. Nicolopoulos had accelerated at 100%, meaning he had his foot all the way down to maximize his speed while trying to hit them.
MM had a complex and open tibia and fibular fracture of the right leg, "mangled" calf with extensive damage to the gastrocnemius and soleus damage to the muscles, damage to the arteries, veins and nerves of the lower leg, two fractures in the public rami of the pelvis, two fractures in the iscial tuberosity of the pelvis, an L5 transverse process fracture, and other injuries. He was initially taken to Lincoln County Hospital, but then was transferred by LifeFlight to Legacy Emanuel Hospital due to the life threatening nature of his injuries. Four surgeries were performed at Legacy Emanual Hospital trying to save his leg, but it had been infected with Staff strains of bacteria as well as mold from roadway debris. About one week after the injury, doctors had to amputate his leg below the knee. Multiple more surgeries were required to continue taking more muscle due to ongoing infection in the muscles, and a few days after the first surgery more of the bone had to be amputated. The jury heard how MM continues to have ongoing infections in his residual limb that prevent him from wearing a prosthetic and impacting his ability to work.
His wife, NS, had severe PTSD with almost daily panic attacks that have lasted for years and remain to date. In addition, she suffered Major Depressive Disorder that required hospitalization, medication and therapies. There was great concern she would survive the psychological effect of the incident.