By JOHN ANDERSON
Morgan Davidson, a 2020 Alfred-Almond graduate, is the type of person who lights up a room when she walks in.
For the past three years, she has been attending Tiffin University in Ohio where she is a criminal justice and homeland security major. The two-time New York State Champion for girls’ wrestling has also been on the college wrestling team for three years.
At Tiffin, she led the team in pins and in just her second year, placed at nationals and was a NCWWC All American.
Last Thursday, everything changed, and she found herself fighting for her life after a horrific car crash. But Davidson pulled through after several surgeries at the St. Vincent Medical Center in Toledo.
Doctors have told the family there is a chance she can walk again. Between bouts of dealing with pain, Morgan has smiled and talked about achieving that goal. She will have her final surgery on Wednesday for the immediate injuries.
As she recovers, a GoFundMe (click HERE) has been set up, and the goal amount does not seem high enough to help her and the family as she recovers and finds a place for rehabilitation. But so far, $6,930 has been raised.
Morgan’s parents, Shane and Bessie, said she was driving her Toyota Tacoma truck when one of the tires seized up and she lost control of her vehicle. She could not get the steering wheel to turn.
The accident took place at 5:01 p.m. on Thursday in Findlay, Ohio as Morgan was driving to work. Hancock County Sheriff’s officials said when the vehicle crossed over U.S. 224 it struck a Ford F-150 then a Hyundai sedan and a Tesla were also in the crash.
Four people were taken to Blanchard Valley Hospital, and three were released. Davidson’s injuries were severe as she was in critical condition in the ICU.
THE GUARDIAN ANGEL
There were other vehicles behind the crash and one caught the terrifying accident on a dash cam video.
However, through all of the photos and videos captured at the scene, one person is not on camera or tape.
The person who saved Morgan’s life.
Morgan’s truck was struck on the driver’s side, spun around and was struck again on the passenger’s side. The entire front end was crushed. Morgan was trapped and the truck started on fire.
“Someone pulled her out of the truck and carried her to a van,” said Bessie Davidson. “He was able to get her into the van and that was the last time anyone saw him. The woman who was driving the van was talking to Morgan, and suddenly, Morgan was alert just enough to call Shane (her father) … We don’t know him, his name and Morgan doesn’t remember anything.”
There are photos of the truck on fire right after she was rescued, but the man is not visible.
When the truck was brought to a body shop, the only thing not damaged or burned was a Bible. Morgan’s boyfriend looked in the backseat and there was one other thing reflecting the light from the sun: a necklace with a cross that Morgan lost a long time ago.
Morgan has a large family with several brothers and sisters. There was enough support at home and family friends to allow Shane and Bessie to get to the hospital in Toledo.
The first surgery on Friday was her right leg. She broke her tibia and fibula so a rod was put in. The area where the surgery took place is covered up to stop infection as the rod is showing. The leg was so swollen, doctors could not close it up.
She needed blood on Friday as well and they noticed a lacerated liver. This is where being young, athletic and healthy first kicked in. Doctors believe her liver will heal on its own, but right now it’s being monitored.
The next surgery was on her back. She had two rods and four screws put in.
Bessie fought back tears.
“She’s lucky to be alive,” she said, but then smiled. “She’s actually doing wonderful. She has great spirits. Yes, she has her moments of being in incredible pain and they are trying to manage that as much as possible. But she is telling jokes and she has the same humor as her dad.”
PUTTING HER BROTHER FIRST
The brothers and sisters are pitching in any way they can. One of the older brothers, Mekha, checks on her brother, Shane and sister Melissa, who are home keeping the animal fed.
Her brother Shane Davidson is a senior at Wellsville. Tonight is his wrestling senior night at 6 p.m.
If no emergency surgeries come up today, Shane and Bessie will drive in from Toledo and then get back to Morgan for her Wednesday procedures. They have even more family in Ohio who will be with Morgan tonight.
The family group text has been very busy, sharing photos and updates. Morgan was finally able to use her phone.
As her brother was worried about his sister, a text appeared. “Shane, make sure you win me a sectional title.”
Shane the dad smiled as she sent it. Shane the son smiled as he read it.
In March of 2021, Morgan became an NCAA Division II All-American at the Cliff Keen NCWWC National Championships when she picked up three wins, all by pin before losing in a consolation finals round. To get to the national championships, Tiffin University won the NCWWC Northeast Regional qualifier. The team sent 14 wrestlers to nationals and Morgan was one of six to earn All-American status.
Morgan had a key role in the season becoming magical. Against 5th-ranked North Central in the NWCA women’s wrestling polls, Tiffin picked up a 31-17 victory. Morgan’s third period pin put the match away.
She had 20 victories, 13 by pin.
There were honors off the mat as well.
Tiffin University’s women’s wrestling team not only finished 7th in the nation on the mat, they had the 7th best grade point average in Division II.
Overall the Dragons were named a Scholar All-American Team, posting a 3.521 mark. Individually the Dragons had nine Scholar All Americans. Brooke Richards, Sugey Ceja, Stephanie Mondragon, Abbi Montgomery, Aliya Martin, Nia Miranda, Taylor Hites, Morgan Davidson, and Jessie Lee all landed All American honors academically.
In high school, not only did Morgan make headlines wrestling against boys, she made headlines in softball. In 2019 as a junior at Alfred-Almond, she led A-A offensively to the state championship. In the semi finals, Ali Fancher was tossing a gem, as she struck out 12 and gave up five hits and four runs. But A-A needed offense. Morgan had three hits, blasted a home run and a double and drove in six of the eight A-A runs in an 8-4 victory over Crown Point.
WHAT IS NEXT
On Monday, Morgan went in and had some post-surgery work on her leg. On Wednesday, they will be putting wiring into the right leg.
The first impact of the car crash was on the left side. But the left leg was not crushed. Because of a wrestling injury, Morgan was wearing a walking cast on her left leg. That was strong enough to act as protection and save the leg.
When she is released from the hospital, she will be checked into a rehabilitation center. They are not sure if she will complete rehabilitation in Ohio or back home in Allegany County.
The one thing they do have is hope.
“There is hope she can walk again,” Bessie said. “There was no nerve damage … she can feel her toes. They said because she is younger, athletic it will help her in the long run and she will heal a little faster.”
If Shane and Bessie make it to Wellsville tonight for senior night to see Shane wrestle, there will be positive messages and thoughts from Morgan as well.
There might be some more tears.
Shane the father simply said, “I hope I can keep it together.”
When it comes to keeping it together for his daughter, Dad can check off “mission accomplished.”
A gallery of photos from the family of Morgan recovering, the accident as well as college and high school photos:
The link once again to the GoFundMe: https://www.gofundme.com/f/zu5xfa-donate-t?qid=fb7ad0a632e2f424cf29ab6cb5b927b9