POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — A family is speaking out after their daughter suffered a traumatic brain injury after being thrown off a motorcycle that crashed back in July.
The driver of the motorcycle is a former Polk County deputy, who the Sheriff’s Office identified as Michael Richards, 46. Richards was charged with DUI earlier this week and resigned at the time of his arrest.
Family said Seana Geisler was a passenger on Richard’s motorcycle. The Geisler’s tell 8 On Your Side that she is on a trach, a feeding tube and has suffered a severe traumatic brain injury.
“She had a broken clavicle and a broken finger, fractures of the cervical spine and wrist, skull and face,” said Dave Geisler, Seana’s father.
Seana’s father and stepmom, Dave and Kimberly Geisler, said every day is vital to her recovery.
“If he spared her life there, that told us he has a purpose for her and he’s not done,” said Kimberly Giesler.
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office said Richards was off duty, driving his motorcycle near the Winter Haven Airport on U.S. 92 with Seana as a passenger on July 27. Authorities said Richards’ rest results showed he had a blood alcohol level of 0.14 BAC at the time. The legal limit in Florida is .08 BAC. Deputies also said Richards was allegedly speeding when he lost control and crashed. The two were thrown from the bike.
Richards has been charged with driving under the influence.
“I want this driver, Mr. Richards, to know that I forgive him,” said Dave Geisler.
Sheriff Grady Judd shared this message: “I tell every single deputy here when they are hired that if they drink and drive they will go to jail, and they will lose their job. That’s what happened here. Our sympathies and prayers are with the female victim of this avoidable crash and with her family. I am so disgusted by Richards’ actions—of all people, he should have known better than to drink and drive and put people’s lives at risk. We will work with the State Attorney’s office to ensure that he is held accountable.”
As the Geisler’s focus on Seana’s recovery, they said her insurance is no longer active and she’s in need of specialized rehabilitation.
“Part of Shawna’s inner strength comes from her children,” said Kimberly Giesler.
The Geisler’s said Seana was in a coma for three weeks after the crash. When she woke up, her two children visited their mom.
“She looked at them and said ‘I love you, babies’ that just tore me up to hear,” said Kimberly Giesler.
The Giesler’s are now raising money to help cover medical expenses. If you would like to help you can find the link here.
Richards has been with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office since 2011 and was working most recently as a crimes detective. Jail records show Richards has since bonded out of jail.