Diamondhead Man Hopes His Bad Decision Will Help Others - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Diamondhead Man Hopes His Bad Decision Will Help Others

DIAMONDHEAD (WLOX) -- Meet 22-year-old David Hale. The once active, popular, rising high school baseball star is now confined to a wheelchair, paralyzed from the chest down. Home is a nursing facility in Diamondhead.

"At 22-years-old, I should be visiting my grand-parents in a nursing home, not living in one," Hale said.

Life changed dramatically for David when he was 16. On a late spring night nearly six years ago, hundreds of other teens gathered in a country field for a midnight bash.

"I had about a 12 pack before I ever got to the party. I drunk about another six pack at the party. I was pretty blitzed, pretty drunk. We had a big bonfire and everything, tailgates, everybody bring their own," Hale remembered. "It started raining, so we shut the party down. I got behind the wheel of the car and headed home."

David never made it home. He lost control of his car on a back road in a sharp curve on the Mississippi-Alabama line.

"I went around this curve doing 130 miles per hour."

His car rolled over nine times before landing upside down in a creek.

"It threw me over the back of my seat and I went through the back windshield head first."

David was in a coma for 39 days and spent 18 months in the hospital.

"I broke my back, my neck and busted my spleen. It put me with a colostomy and a urostomy for the rest of my life."

David chooses not to dwell on his poor decision that changed his life. Instead, he plans to use his mistake to help others.

"I would like to say to anyone out there, especially younger kids, if you have a high school party or a prom anything like that, graduation, I know it's the tradition to have a party and things. But out of all of you kids and young adults out there, there's always a few who don't drink. And you few who don't drink, y'all be the ones to drive."

David Hale didn't make that choice six years ago. But he hopes by telling his story, someone else will make the right choice.

Hale never finished high school. He is currently enrolled in a GED program and would like to go to college to study Graphic Design.

He's ready to share his story with high school classes and clubs. If you would like to have him speak, he can be reached at (251) 509-4770.

By Al Showers

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