Professional mixed martial artist Carmella James is in critical condition. The 24-year-old Bellator veteran was driving her bicycle on her way to work when she was struck by a suspected drunk driver. James was struggling with finances, according to her coach Marcio Laselva, and was riding her bike because she had no money for gas.
James reportedly suffered severe head trauma in the accident.
The driver of the vehicle, 34-year-old Larry Gaines, was arrested and charged with suspicion of aggravated battery and DUI (4th or more). He is currently being held on $100,000 bond.
According to Laselva, James was working towards a platform that would allow her to be a positive role model and talk to those in her community about how you can make it out of difficult situations with a strong faith in Jesus.
“She wanted a platform to talk about Jesus, talk about changes, being a voice for the community that you can actually come out of all of these situations,” he said, via local NBC affiliate KSN-3. “She wanted to be seen as an example that we actually can. She was going to make it.”
She also recently signed a contract to return to the cage later this year.
“We actually just signed a contract last week. She was going to fight in Louisiana and I just had to send him a message and say I don’t think she’s going to make it to this fight,” Laselva added.
Laselva MMA and Fitness has set up a GoFundMe to raise money for James’ medical expenses during her recovery. You can donate to the fundraiser by clicking here.
— MarQ P (@WMMANews) May 27, 2018
Our deepest condolences are with James, her family and friends as she faces her tough fight ahead.