If you'd seen it in a movie, it would've been your cue to chuckle (or roll your eyes at the sophomoric script). But when 21-year-old Chance Bothe texted the words
, "I need to quit texting, because I could die in a car accident", then drove off a bridge into a ravine in Ganado, Texas, it was no laughing matter.
Images from the crash site posted by Houston's KTRK
show the engine compartment of Bothe's Ford F150
snubbed like a minivan. Bothe didn't fare much better: his neck and sternum were broken, his skull was fractured, and he suffered from traumatic brain injuries. Friends pulled him out of the cab just before the truck burst into flames.
In the emergency room, doctors had to bring him back to life three times.
Apparently, the third time was the charm. Earlier this week, Bothe left the hospital after a long, painful, six-month stay -- first in San Antonio, then at a rehabilitation center in Houston, where he learned to walk again.
As you might expect, he's a very changed man. Bothe views his unlikely survival as a sign that he's meant to spread the word about distracted driving. As he told KTRK, "I have a higher purpose in being here. And I think it's to tell everyone not to text message and drive."
How Bothe plans to carry out that mission isn't clear just yet. He says that he wants to finish college, although doctors admit that his brain injuries will make that a challenge.
For now, though, his family and friends are just glad he's alive.
You can watch KTRK's full news report here:
With a few weeks of summer road trips left to go, now might be a good time to remind yourself (and your loved ones) about the perils of texting and driving. We know that many of you do it
, even though you know it's dangerous. But it's never too late to break the habit.