Tamandra Michaels was thown out of her chair and taken to Mercy hospital.
Photographer and LGBT activist Tamandra Michaels was struck by a car as she crossed the street in her wheelchair on Sunday at about 2:30 pm. Michaels is always out and about in Hillcrest with Justice, her German Shepard canine companion.
The collision took place on a corner of El Cajon Boulevard in North Park where Michaels says she was crossing near Pancho Villa Farmer's Market. She says the driver broadsided her wheelchair.
"She came around and smacked me in the far right lane almost to the sidewalk," Tamandra told us. "I didn't see it coming at all, just suddenly was rammed by a bumper. Don't think she braked at all either."
She says she was ejected from the chair and struck the pavement, "Like threw me down so hard I hit both elbows and my head. Luckily I had just sent my dog ahead of me some, and the car was small."
She was taken to Mercy hospital with Justice at her side and released at about 5 pm.
Tamandra was born with Spina Bifida, so a wheelchair is the only way she can get around, but now, due to the accident her chair has a bent wheel and is inoperable, "Found out just now that I can’t get a new wheel even for my chair. It’ll take weeks."
She has been trying via a GoFundMe campaign for a year to get a special full-sized cargo van that is specially equipped with a wheelchair ramp. Of the $48,000 goal, she has only raised $1,900.
Now without her regular wheelchair, Tamandra is not able to move about as independently as she would like, but the incident has also affected her psychologically, "I’m afraid of going out there now," she said, "So scary."
As for Justice, he is okay but the incident, "stressed him a bit," Tamandra says.