Picking up the pieces following vehicle accidents

Published: Monday, February 11, 2013 at 06:03 PM.

Lewis was driving home about 1 a.m. from his night job as a security guard on Eglin Air Force Base last Sept. 24. He said he saw Matthew Kilcrease’s car coming down the road and knew it was much faster than the posted 45 mph speed limit.

Lewis moved his Dodge Durango to give the car more room, but when he looked up he saw the car swerve and knew what was going to happen. He lifted his hands over his face instinctively and felt the crash and his air bags deploy. The Durango rammed the utility pole, but Lewis was still alert.

“I was yelling at the guy and I opened up my car to go help and that’s when I fell to the ground,” he said recently at his home. “I didn’t even realize it until then, but both of my knees had been shattered by the engine during the crash.”

Lewis spent eight weeks in the hospital and has worn leg braces and used crutches and a cane. His doctors tell him his legs will never be the same, but he continues physical therapy at home.

“Pain is just something I deal with,” said the Army veteran who already was suffering back pain. “It bothers me, but I just don’t show it. It’s just another thing added to the list.”

Lewis says he is now looking at more than $30,000 in medical bills, but trusts that the insurance will come through. He says a hefty savings account and good employers have made it possible to move on.

“I’m determined not to let this ruin my life.” he said.

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