Driving under the influence of alcohol can have demonstrably horrific effects. Yet, few people seem quite as exercised about the similarly dangerous phenomenon of texting while driving, an act that takes one's eyes off the road and opens up potentially awful eventualities.
One young man, miraculously, survived one of those eventualities and has lived to tell the tale. Meet Chance Bothe, a young man who miraculously survived after driving his truck into a 35 foot deep ravine, having been rescued from the car seconds before it caught fire:
Bothe survived the crash barely alive, with a series of critical injuries. The Huffington Post gives more backstory on Bothe's terrifying ordeal, and miraculous recovery:
Bothe miraculously survived despite suffering brain injuries and breaking nearly every bone in his body, including his cheekbones, neck and skull. He also had to be brought back to life three times, reports WBTV.
This past Wednesday Bothe left the hospital after a six-month stay that included numerous reconstructive surgeries and intensive rehabilitation (he even had to learn how to speak again), according to ABC13. Though the incident took place January 24, only now is he able to discuss the crash.
"Don't do it. It's not worth losing your life," Bothe said of texting behind the wheel,per the Daily News. "I went to my grandmother's funeral not long ago, and I kept thinking, it kept jumping into my head, I'm surprised that's not me up in that casket. I came very close to that, to being gone forever."
Just for reference, these images, courtesy of the Daily Mail, sum up what Bothe looked like immediately following the accident:
And here's a comparison image of Bothe, now, after his six months physical therapy and miraculous recovery:
And speaking of that therapy, KHOU of Houston, Texas, has the following video and print reports giving the blow by blow of what's happened since Bothe's accident:
"I said, ‘Call the funeral home. He’ll never make it,’" Bobby Bothe admitted he said after he’d been told of his son’s extensive injuries. "We lost him three times. They brought him back. He coded three times."
But Chance Bothe defied the odds and began his rehabilitation at TIRR. He had to learn to walk again. His brain injuries have had an effect on his personality. His dad estimates that 80-percent of his son has returned six months after the accident. But that’s enough of a percentage for Chance Bothe to understand the message he can now send about the dangers of texting and driving.
"They just need to understand don’t do it. Don’t do it. It’s not worth losing your life," he said. "I went to my grandmother’s funeral not long ago. And I kept thinking, it kept jumping into my head: ‘I’m surprised that’s not me in that casket.’ I came very close to that. To being gone forever."
"If I had a kid 16 years old starting to drive, they could have a phone but the texting feature wouldn’t be on it. That’s how strongly I believe it. It about took him," said Bobby Bothe.[...]
Bothe, who may still face additional surgeries and rehabilitation, promises that he will spread the message about the dangers of texting and driving for the rest of his life.
So, if any parents are in the audience, be warned - texting and driving is not necessarily a harmless distraction. But don't take our word for it, take Chance Both's pre-crash. Apparently one of the texts he sent before his fateful accident was:
"I need to quit texting."
Now, presumably, he will.