September 8, 2013
The victim of an Albemarle County motorcycle accident continues to make progress in his recovery, his family says.
Dustin Halcott was riding his motorcycle early Tuesday morning on Route 20 when he ran off the road.
"I found his phone and he had a message from his work saying he never showed up that day," said his girlfriend, Carrie Horne.
Horned contacted Halcott's parents, who live in Erie, Penn. They made the 10-hour, 400-mile drive to Charlottesville overnight.
"I was trying to figure out what could've happened, where he could be," Halcott's mother, Anna Holmberg, said Sunday. "A myriad of things."
There were no witnesses to the 25-year-old's accident. Halcott landed in a ravine and wasn't immediately visible from the road. He lay there waiting for help.
About 30 hours later on Wednesday, one of Halcott's friends, Ray Cook, went looking for him and found the crash site.
"If it wasn't for him, Dustin might not be here," Holmberg said. "And I don't know how I can thank the man, because how do you thank a person for your kid's life?"
Days after the accident, Halcott had his breathing tubes removed and is breathing on his own at the University of Virginia Medical Center.
"He's a character. He's a joker," Holmberg said of her son's personality. "he loves life. And he's my baby."
Among Halcott's injuries are a broken nose and a broken jaw. With every day, though, he is making process. His family says his recovery is nothing short of a miracle.
"He's making a lot of progress," Horne said. "He's talking. He'll answer questions now."
She said he's aware of the situation, though is still visibly weak.
"I came in yesterday and I kissed him on the forehead and said, 'Dustin, mama's here,' and he said, 'Uh huh,'" Holmberg said. "And I said, 'I love you, honey,' and he said, 'Love you, too.'"
His loved ones plan to stay by his side through every step of what they believe will be a full recovery.
"That feeling of panic Tuesday night when you don't know where someone is then a few days later and they're talking again, it just gives you a lot of hope," Horne said.
The cause of what made Halcott crash into the ravine is still under investigation, but he has a little something more to live for. He and his girlfriend are expecting their first child in February.