High school student was nearly killed in motorcycle crash grateful for graduation
SCHERTZ –High school student Allison Steele doesn’t let her near-death experience stop her from achieving her biggest goal, which is to cross the stage to graduate.
Zachariah Gibson is a successful young man who has his own landscaping business, is training to be a personal trainer and is expected to graduate early this Tuesday, May 25.
On Sunday May 16, he had a serious motorcycle accident.
“I was riding with six of my friends,” Gibson said. “It was a cold race. I was going about 65-70mph and passed under the bridge at 1604 and 35. I ended up behind this truck and as soon as I got to IKEA I went to make a pass to my right.
Gibson said that’s when his life burst before his eyes.
“I looked over and saw my boyfriend so I didn’t pass but by the time I looked ahead the truck had slammed on its brakes,” Gibson said. “When I hit, I slid all the way down to 35 and hit the concrete wall, then I slid to the left side of 35. They said I had slipped almost 300 feet.
He said he felt every broken bone he suffered, but his biggest concern was being hit by another vehicle.
“When I stopped sliding I stayed calm,” Gibson said. “A friend of mine, who is a great man, came to see me. It was something to see a grown man cry when he saw me, so I knew I looked bad.
Shaina Webb, her mother, said she was devastated when she got the call.
“I was home and we were already shutting down for the day,” Webb said. “I have an odd number on my phone and at first I wasn’t going to answer because I usually don’t answer odd numbers, but something told me to answer that call.”
She said once the lady on the phone started talking, she already knew the bad news was about her son.
“I was crying and panicking,” she says. “When I got there, all I could think about was whether my son was going to die. He was very calm on the phone when I spoke with the first responder, so I started to think he was knocking. I spent 14 years as a paramedic and when it’s your kid on the other end of the phone it’s hard to keep that frame of mind. I thought at 18 he was supposed to graduate in a week. I didn’t think I was going to see this.
Fortunately, Gibson coped but suffered several injuries, 80% of his body of which was covered in rashes.
“I broke my hip in two places, I broke both collarbones, the top of my nose and a scapula, and I have reconstructive eye surgery,” he said.
“The lower eyelid was torn off almost completely,” her mother added.
Whatever his injuries, Gibson made a point of starting to walk and heal so he could be ready for his degree.
“I put in too many hours and too much work not to walk on stage,” Gibson said. “This is something I have been looking forward to for a long time.”
Gibson plans to roll his wheelchair to the stage as walking is always a struggle for him, but he plans to walk up to the stage.
“I’m just glad I can walk,” Gibson said. “First, I’m happy to be alive because I shouldn’t be, but I’m happy to have left what I did and to be able to walk.”
He hopes his story serves as a reminder for others to watch out for motorcyclists on the roads.
He also said he hopes his passion for walking and continuing to ride his motorcycle encourages others to cherish life.
“Tomorrow is never promised,” Gibson said. “I was having a great day. Nothing was wrong but I could have gone. I want people to know how to live every moment to the fullest. “
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