The right rear tire blows out.
The car rolls more than 10 times in seven seconds. In those seven seconds, as he remembers, the scene flashes before his eyes.
Riding down the interstate in an SUV, John Clint Mabry, a senior college student, and his friends are on their way back to Baylor University after spring break. In seven seconds, his life changes.
Seven- the world starts spinning. Six— the metal crashes all around him. Five— part of his right leg flies out the car. Four— he waits for the last second of his life. Three— waiting. Two— still waiting. One— silence.
The car stops rolling. He waits for death, but it doesn’t come.
“Holy crap,” he remembers saying. “Get the heck out.”
He crawls out, goes back and forth to get his friends. Minutes pass, he sits at the side of the road and stares at the view— a torn SUV, a helicopter, ambulances, fire trucks. He sees his right leg damaged, mostly bone and flesh.
“I’m going to lose my leg,” he thought.
John Mabry now works for Addiction Campuses, which helps treat people who have an addiction to opioids and other substances.
Prior to his new career he spent years battling addiction that stemmed from a prescription he got after a car accident.
“Taking a prescription to a pharmacy that I got from a doctor for pain killers, it lead to over a decade of substance abuse, alcohol, it lead to extreme turmoil for my personal life and my wife and our children,” Mabry said.
He calls the pilot program in Colorado a step in the right direction, but there is a lot of work still to do.
“But now you have people who are already addicted or who are newly addicted who are going to go to less conventional means to get the drugs,” Mabry said.