My name is Don Ware. On October 24, 2016, my friend Jim Finazzo and I decided to enjoy the beautiful day and take a motorcycle ride. A little after noon and being about 2 miles from home, we stopped to wait for on-coming traffic in order to make a left turn. Sitting still, we were struck from behind by a drug impaired driver that was traveling at over 70 miles per hour and never touched his brakes.

The Crash

My friend Jim was killed instantly. Two 800 pound plus motorcycles and riders were thrown over 80 to 100 feet from the force of the impact. My wife, Pam received a phone call that no one should ever have to receive, “Your husband has been seriously injured and they are getting ready to air-lift him out.”

I am here today because of the quick thinking people on the scene, the first responders and law enforcement and the ability to have an air evac helicopter to quickly fly me to the Columbia trauma center along with many, many prayers. Without that, getting me to a trauma hospital would never have been in time.

You see, I had a severely broken arm and hand that required metal plates and pins. My pelvis required being bolted back together. But the real emergency was my kidney which had burst and was bleeding out, forcing the doctors to remove it upon arrival. Time, for me and for so many crash victims, was a crucial element to survival

 

Here and Thankful

It was touch and go for the first 48 hours. The man who made that decision to take drugs, get in a vehicle and drive on the highway, killing one person and seriously injuring another changed the lives of all those involved forever. I was very fortunate. I was on a walker for 14 weeks and endured a few surgeries with one of them just two months ago. It’s been almost a year and a half since the terrible crash. But, I am here and very thankful.

I did not have time to wait……that air evac helped to give me the precious minutes the doctors and care-givers needed to save my life. I am blessed with more time to be with my family and friends because of this.

Take a Positive Position

Law enforcement is likely to be out in force over the summer. I applaud them for these efforts to keep our roadways safe. We know that sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols save lives and law enforcement needs our support for both of these. Saving a life and not allowing a terrible crash to happen is a very positive step in the right direction.

People that decide to make the life changing decisions to drink, take drugs and then get behind the wheel of a vehicle become a potential weapon. Take the responsibility to have a designated driver if you do choose to drink. Seek out help if you do have a dependency on drugs. Take a positive position to not let a friend or loved one get behind the wheel if they are impaired in any way.

– Don Ware