Crash Victim Uses Story To Teach Others - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

1/25/04 - Longview

Crash Victim Uses Story To Teach Others

For many years we've heard the message "don't drink and drive".  It's become almost second nature to us. But, for one East Texas man, it's a lesson he learned the hard way, and he passes that lesson on to others.  For 32-year-old Mark Holloway, the slogan "don't drink and drive" has real meaning.  At 18 he got drunk and got behind the wheel of a car and crashed, changing his life forever.

"I lost a fiancee' because of alcohol," said Holloway.  "I lost everything dear to me because of five seconds."

In June, 1990 Mark lost control of his car and crashed on the Van Highway at 4:30 in the morning. His brother was in the car at the time and escaped with minor injuries.  But, Mark had devasting injuries that left him in a coma for 31 days.  When he woke he had the mind of a child, and had to learn how to do everything again in two years of therapy.

"I thought I was invincible," said Holloway, "walk again, talk again, write again, do everything physical."

He's literally a new person, and now he's a drug and alcohol counselor who visits thousands of adults and children each year telling his story.

"Man he sees things completely different," said  Don Burrows of S.C.C.A.D.A.  "It's a simpler way of life, and honest way of life.  It's true to the heart."

"Don't drink and drive.  We hear that all the time," said Holloway, "but I'm living proof that if you make a foolish choice you endanger your life as well as other people."

He walks with a limp, and his speech is slighly slurred, but Mark hopes his message is clear.

"Since my wreck I like to go out and share it with people becasue I'm not dead," said Holloway.  "I was given a second chance for a reason."

Holloway works as a counsellor with Sister Communities Council on Drug and Alcohol Abuse, and regularly talks to kids in classrooms in East Texas about the dangers of drunk driving.

Bob Hallmark reporting  bhallmark@kltv.com  

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