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Indiana teen recovering after being hit by accused drunk driver over holiday weekend

Elijah Dowell has already undergone two surgeries and is awaiting another. Friends and family raising money to help with medical expenses.

NEW ALBANY, Ind. — A Clarksville High School student is recovering after being hit by an accused drunk driver over the weekend. Now the community is rallying behind his family, raising money to cover medical expenses. 

"I'm feeling good right now. Well, at least with pain medicine on," said Elijah Dowell on Wednesday, three days after being involved in a head-on crash. 

"I think he's kind of blocking all that pain out because he has been through a lot," said his mom, Bryana Dowell. 

Indiana State Police said a drunk driver hit the teen early Sunday morning near the intersection of Sunset Drive. 

RELATED: New Albany man charged with OWI after head-on collision on Charlestown Rd.

"When I came back over the hill it was just riding in our lane. I tried to swerve and I just hit it," said Dowell.

The wrong way driver is charged with driving while intoxicated causing serious injury.

Elijah was taken to the hospital in serious condition. He's had surgeries on his knee cap and his clavicle, and planning for at least one more to fix a shattered heel. 

"I looked at my leg and I could see the bone out of it," said Elijah, recalling Sunday's crash.

The hospital bed is a change of pace for the teen, who stays active as the number one singles player on Clarksville High School's varsity tennis team. 

"He's definitely missing being out on that court," said Bryana. 

A GoFundMe set up to help the family with medical bills and a new car already has over a thousand shares and has raised over $5,000.

"That was crazy I thought," said Elijah. "I'm really thankful for that, and the prayers that I got." 

And while thankful that her son is improving, Elijah's mom has a message for others: "Stay off the road if you're going to drink. Call an Uber, call a friend. Stay the night somewhere because it totally could affect, this is affecting his life right now and our life so just really think about what you're doing before you get out on that road." 

The family is still hoping for a full recovery. 

►Contact reporter Abby Lutz at alutz1@whas11.com. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook. 

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