By Joel Hillan
DENVER (CBS4)– Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer. It’s also the start of what historically has been the deadliest three months on Colorado roadways.
Impaired or distracted driving can change the lives of not only the driver, but victims like Devin Butler, as well.
“My case is truly wrong place, wrong time and it changed my life forever.”
Devin was riding his bike to school, when he was hit by a drunk driver and left for dead on the side of the road.
“My next memory comes about a month later in the hospital, since I was kept in a drug-induced coma.”
The crash broke Devin’s pelvis, took a chip of bone off his right eye socket, shattered his collarbone and several vertebrae, leaving him paralyzed.
The driver of the car that hit Devin still has not faced justice.
“As far as I know, he fled to Mexico the day of the trial, so it is still an open case to this day, 11 years later.”
When Devin’s dad told him he was paralyzed, Devin made the decision that he would not let somebody else’s actions define his life.
“Life is how you choose to make it and I choose to enjoy living it. I wakeboard, waterski, monoski, mountain bike and rock climb. I read, write and I draw and I’m going to school for my accounting degree.”
He also does public speaking and works with Mothers Against Drunk Driving, MADD, to tell his story and pleads with others to make a place, stick to it and not drive impaired.
To the victims, and all of us, Devin offers a message of hope.
“Seek help and it will be hard, but keep living because this life truly is wonderful.”