Jamey Singleton's Journey Part 1: Remembering the Accident
Rocky Mount, VA - ABC 13 has a special report on our own web producer Jamey Singleton's recovery from a terrible accident.
In February, Jamey was driving to work on Route 122 in Bedford County when state police say he crossed the center line and hit a delivery truck head-on. He was in ICU in the hospital for more than a week.
Jamey says for the first time, he can now put the pieces of the accident together.
"I didn't realize how close to death I really was," he said from his house in Rocky Mount. "The one part of the accident I remember was their truck. I was so focused on their truck, I didn't even realize my car was being destroyed."
State police say two people were inside the Schwan's truck Jamey hit. They were taken to the hospital and later went home that day. Jamey was charged with reckless driving.
The impact sent his car backward almost 200 feet. The front of his car collapsed, pinning Jamey down.
"As I was trapped in my car I thought, 'What have I done? And I pray that they're OK."
A woman who saw the accident talked to Jamey and called for help.
"I thought I was just in a minor collision. So my first reaction too, that being said, was to get pictures of the accident to give to you guys to get to the web," said Jamey laughing.
The Moneta Volunteer Fire Department had to cut Jamey out of his car, removing the roof and doors, and pushing the dashboard off Jamey's legs.
Jamey says he thinks about those first responders every day.
"To not even expect a thank you, and just leave the scene of the accident and go along with their everyday life. And they pulled me out of that wreckage and saved my life, I can't get over that."
Jamey's dad, Johnny Singleton, was one of the first people to learn of the wreck. He was not prepared at all for what he saw.
"I can remember still vividly seeing his black dress shoe stuck in the dash. And I was wondering how that foot got in that position in the car. And I was thinking, 'This isn't good, this isn't good. That's my kid," he said.
EMTs started working on Jamey right away before airlifting him to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital.
"To be honest, I really didn't know if we'd see Jamey alive yet again. I didn't know if he'd be alive when we got to Roanoke Memorial," said Johnny Singleton.
Jamey suffered several broken bones in his legs, arms, and face. He also had a bruised lung and fractured ribs. After hours of surgery, his mom got to see him for the first time.
"I leaned over and I said, 'Jamey, mom is here.' And he opened his eyes and he looked at me and he kind of raised up, and I kissed his forehead. When I did that he raised up again so I kissed him again," said Dee Singleton.
Jamey says he doesn't remember much from ICU that first week, so when he went online for the first time from his hospital bed, he was overwhelmed.
"I had no idea the media coverage, the community response, and seeing all the emails...first it was Facebook posts that I was reading and then it was the news stories...it brought tears to my eyes."
It's that support Jamey says helps him every day. With time and a lot of therapy, he's healing and getting better. He's now able to move around and walk with help of a walker.
"To have seen him that first day after, you know, the accident and to see him now is just...I never would have thought he'd come this far this soon," said Dee Singleton.