NewsMontana and Regional News


Billings couple hit by drunk driver aims to spread awareness

Bryson (left), Chad (middle), and Kimberlyn (right)
Posted at 9:45 AM, May 05, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-05 11:53:21-04

BILLINGS — On April 20, a Billings couple was traveling home after a date night when they were struck head-on by a drunk driver near the Metra.

The impaired driver jumped a median, colliding with Kimberlyn Eldridge and Chad Teal.

"We didn't even see it coming," Eldridge said on Saturday.

The couple of seven years said their lives changed in an instant.

"You don't realize how fast things happen,” Eldridge said.

The accident near the Metra
The accident near the Metra

The pair were driving on First Avenue North near Main Street when they were struck by the drunk driver.

"I just looked over and I saw the headlights. I went to say something. By that time, it was already the commotion, things flying," Eldridge said. "It literally felt like we were in an explosion. Our ears were ringing. Everything was just like, smoke and fluid everywhere."

Chad and Kimberlyn recalling the crash
Chad and Kimberlyn recalling the crash

After the collision, Eldridge and Teal watched as cars drove past. Many thoughts raced through their minds.

"I got a four-year-old at home. Got a fiancé, don't know what's going on. Got family," Teal said. "I just wanted to make it home."

Eventually, an off-duty nurse and her husband stopped to assist.

"I was just like, 'Oh my goodness. Thank you. We didn't know if we were going to survive, and you actually took time to stop.'” Kimberlyn said. "People were driving past us as we were flagging them down, rolling up their windows."

Eldridge and Teal's vehicle following the crash
Eldridge and Teal's vehicle following the crash

The Good Samaritans called 911 and Eldridge’s mom—who was watching their 4-year-old son, Bryson.

"She used her medical stuff and calmed (Chad) down until the ambulance came," said Eldridge.

The couple ended up at Billings Clinic with a long list of injuries.

A photo of Bryson on the fridge
A photo of Bryson on the fridge

"They thought I broke my legs. My knees were all bruised up and swollen," said Eldridge. "(Chad) was evaluated. Broken ribs, whiplash, concussion."

"Still got a headache. Still feeling it all,” Teal said.

It was at Billings Clinic that doctors made an exciting discovery.

"When I went to do a CAT scan, we did a urine test. That's when we found out I was pregnant,” Eldridge said.

Photos from Eldridge's ultrasound
Photos from Eldridge's ultrasound

The family of three will soon become a family of four.

"It's exciting," Teal said. "But nerve-wracking."

While they look forward to welcoming another child, they’re worried about finances—as they are both currently off work due to their injuries.

"My bosses have been accommodating. My coworkers have pulled it through," said Eldridge. "I'm just thankful to work for The Learning Grove."

"I want to thank Carquest," said Teal. "My boss has been really understanding about it."

Bryson (left), Chad (middle), and Kimberlyn (right)
Bryson (left), Chad (middle), and Kimberlyn (right)

"A simple drunk driver is what caused all of this. Even if you can't donate, we appreciate support," Eldridge said. "We appreciate anything. And everyone that has donated, that has shared, and tried to just bring awareness to it."

The couple is now focusing on recovering while preparing for a new family member, but hope to raise awareness of drinking and driving through sharing their story.

"One of us could have died. I mean, we both could have,” Teal said. "(I'm) thankful to be here."

"There's definitely consequences. It takes a toll on everyone," Eldridge said. "It's stupid. (If you're intoxicated,) get an Uber. Call a friend. I'm sure they're not going to be happy to get a call that late, but they're also going to not be happy to get a call like our family had to. I mean, it's simple at the end of the day."

To view the GoFundMe, click here.