October 9, 2013
When Dustin Halcott crashed his motorcycle last month, his family said his survival was nothing short of a miracle.
Five weeks later, he continues making strides in his road to recovery.
"I feel extremely lucky," Halcott said in an interview Wednesday.
Halcott left for work from his Albemarle County home off Route 20 on the morning of Sept. 2 but turned around shortly after he left.
"I believe, but I barely remember, that I'd forgotten my phone here," he said.
His memory is foggy, but Halcott said he slowed down for another motorcycle making a turn. That's when he believes his tires slipped on the yellow lines in the road, sending him crashing into a ravine on Route 20.
"I remember nothing after that," he said.
The accident site wasn't visible from the road, and there were apparently no witnesses to the crash. Halcott lay there unconscious for more than 30 hours until a concerned friend, Ray Cook, went looking for him.
"I love Ray Cook for taking the time and the experience to go that far and look as much as he did," Halcott said.
Once he was recovered from the crash site, Halcott spent about three weeks in the hospital. He had numerous head and brain injuries, including a broken jaw and broken nose.
Two-and-a-half weeks ago, he returned home. He continues to get care there, and is making steady progress. He said his first memory after the accident is seeing his girlfriend, Carrie Horne, standing over his bed.
"The doctor has told me firsthand that an older person with as many injuries as I've had could've died," Halcott said.
But in addition to his family and friends, Halcott has something more to live for. In four months, he and his girlfriend are expecting their first child.
"It makes me not want him to go anywhere. Him being here, I feel a lot better," Horne said. "I definitely don't want him being on a motorcycle ever again."
"It's only four-plus months away, and I love the baby more than I love being alive," Halcott said, "but I'd rather be alive, especially after an accident so severe."
Progress is day by day, and considering what could have been, Halcott and Horne are once again looking forward to normalcy.
Next weekend, Clayton Homes of Stuarts Draft is hosting a fundraiser to help pay Halcott's medical bills. For more information, call 540-337-0800.