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One man's message: "Think before you drink" - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

One man's message: "Think before you drink"

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If they're lucky enough to survive, then they live to share their stories, and hopefully help others.

This time of year, organizations are fighting back against drunk driving by reaching out to teens during spring break and just before prom and summertime. 

36-year-old, Bubba Fletcher, is one of those fighting to keep kids from getting hurt like he did.  He'd only been married for eight weeks, when his wife went out of town and he went out with the boys.

"It was getting late about 11:30 or so, and I knew I had to get home to be up for work at 6 am. So that would be the last place I ever walked out of, " said Fletcher.

In 2007, Fletcher says he made two bad decisions. One was drinking and driving after leaving a Shreveport bar on Mansfield road. The other was not wearing his seatbelt.

"I was going too fast and lost control of my truck. It went off an embankment when it hit, then the driver-side axle broke and sent my truck into a roll, then a second roll, then a third roll. They figured I was ejected out of the driver-side window and with the fourth and fifth roll that my truck backed over me," said Fletcher.

Fletcher suffered broken ribs, a shattered vertebrae, and a severed spinal cord. He was rushed to LSU hospital.  His family was panicked because they had no idea what happened to him.  After calling around to area law enforcement agencies and hospitals, they finally found him lying in a hospital bed.

"They found me in the trauma unit at LSU and that's when my wife had to make the drive back from Monroe. That's where it really hits me because anytime I'm with her I think about her making that ride and knowing that her husband of only 8 weeks when I coulda been dead by the time she gets there, " said Fletcher.

Then he finally woke up to a devastating discovery.

"So I started beating on my legs and beating on my body and that's when the doctors and nurses came over and restrained me. They said you're paralyzed. You'll never walk again."

It's an emotional story that Fletcher lives over and over in his mind everyday and one that he speaks about publicly especially to teens both in high school and college.
Fletcher is a speaker with "Think First" will keep kids out of wheelchairs or worse. The non-profit organization works to keep kids from making bad decisions that could leave them dead or disabled especially this time of year.
"Think First" is ramping up their efforts to remind kids that it could happen to them.

"We try to maintain a year long presence in the community, but it's the first time of the year when we really focus on the high school's because we have spring break around this time of year, we have prom and we have the summer coming up," said Chris Marlin with "Think First."

According to the CDC, one in ten teens in high school drinks and drives. 
Drivers, ages 16-20, are 17 times more likely to die in a crash when they have a blood alcohol concentration of point zero eight percent than when they have not been drinking.
But Fletcher says he hopes by talking to teens about his crash, they'll realize he's more than just a statistic. 

"They get to see now that this is my life. That my life has been wrecked. That this is real, " said Fletcher.

 

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