Local veterinarian begins long road back from crash injuries

| 21 Feb 2012 | 10:52

    HAMBURG-Described as "upbeat and bubbly," Diane Sidoli, 33, a veterinarian who works in the borough and lives in West Milford, intends to use those assets to recover from a car crash that claimed both her legs on Sept. 23, colleagues at Hamburg Veterinary Clinic say. Sidoli, at the Route 94 clinic since December, 2001, has been hospitalized at Westchester Medical Center since the night of her crash in Warwick. At about 6:30 p.m. that night, Sidoli was enroute to pick up her nine-month-old son, R.C., at a daycare center in West Milford when she was struck head-on by a Warwick man driving a red, older-model Jimmy truck, according to Warwick police. Joseph Amore, 49, allegedly was found to be driving with a blood-alcohol level of 0.22 percent, more than twice the legal limit in New York State of 0.10. Warwick Police Chief Thomas McGovern said Amore previously had been convicted twice of driving with "ability impaired." That is a lesser alcohol related charge than DWI, according to McGovern. So strong was the impact that the motor of Amore's vehicle ended up in Sidoli's lap, and one of his tires close to her head, her colleagues at the veterinary clinic said. Both Sidoli and Amore were treated in the intensive care unit of Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla, N.Y., with Sidoli having both her shattered legs amputated. "The way it was described is that his vehicle was inside her vehicle," McGovern said. The police chief said the crash occurred at about 6:30 p.m. on Warwick Turnpike, about a quarter mile east of the town's drive-in movie theater. Sidoli was in her lane when struck head-on, police said. "There really wasn't much room for her to escape," confirmed McGovern, who added that the case is expected to be presented to an Orange County grand jury, and it is currently unknown how fast Amore was going on impact. Warwick police said rescue workers had to extricate Amore from his vehicle, then remove his truck from inside Sidoli's before she could be reached. The whole process took close to two hours, McGovern said. Sidoli quickly gained a reputation for always having a positive outlook, both toward her work and others. "She does," said Sara Bosland, the veterinary clinic's office manager. "She's got a very good outlook on life. She's always smiling, and all the patients like her." "We saw her Friday (Oct. 29) and she said she can't do anything about what happened," Bosland continued. "She can't change the past. She's willing to go forward with rehab and whatever it takes to get back to her husband and family again." According to her colleagues, Sidoli has been out of intensive care since Oct. 27 and is beginning the long road back to recovery. They said every bone in her legs and arms were broken, along with her pelvis. Surgery was performed, and presently both her arms are in casts, and she is beginning to move her fingers, according to her colleagues. The hospital did not return calls inquiring about her condition. Sidoli reportedly plans on obtaining prosthetics to replace her lost legs. The cost of the prosthetics is expected to be around $100,000, and in the meantime, funds are also being sought for the renovation of her West Milford home into a wheelchair-accessible dwelling. Until a tax-free fund can be arranged, gifts and donations, in her name, should be made payable to the Holy Counselor Church of Vernon, and either sent to the church or the veterinary clinic. Meanwhile, Sidoli, plans to return to work as soon as possible. "When you've got that kind of attitude, that's what is going to get you up and heal faster," said Kathy Grottendick, a medical receptionist at the Hamburg veterinary facility. "That's what she's thankful for. She's thankful she's alive so she can be with her husband and family again."