Damien Redmond was just five miles from home when this happened in April 2013.
His car was struck was by a drunken driver.
Redmond has since undergone 14 surgeries, the latest just two months ago, and is now part of a public awareness campaign with the Mississippi Office of Highway Safety and law enforcement.
“Drinking and driving is becoming a problem,” Redmond said during a campaign announcement Tuesday in Drew. “And it's affecting us as youth because not only are we being killed, we're doing the killing.”
Twyla Jennings with the Office of Highway Safety Points out that the Labor Day holiday is among the worst times for fatalities in America.
So the nationwide, “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign, begins two weeks early.
“Because the holiday is, you know, the last big summer holiday, and everybody is traveling and trying to get to the water or to, you know, visit someone,” Jenning said. “nd the fatality numbers are just always higher around this period.”
A crime, crash and arrest clock compiled by the traffic safety marketing agency shows there is an average of 146 DUI arrests per hour.
“Some family is affected by this every hour of every day,” Jennings said.
Redmond is now back in school, pursuing a master's degree in science and bio informatics at Mississippi Valley State University. He says the collision humbled him and made him aware that just because you're not drunk doesn't mean you can't be affected by a drunken driving incident.
“I value the things that came from the accident. And it showed me how to be a better person, and how to understand how people go through situations that they don't have any control over.”
Also participating in the campaign announcement were officers from the Mississippi Highway Patrol and various Delta police and sheriff's departments.