A rollover crash victim is opening up about his injuries after a van full of substance abuse program patients crashed Friday evening.
Chad Tiger was one of 18 people hurt. He was a heroin addict for five years and had just joined the rehab program five days before the crash, but his road to recovery just got a lot longer.
In the aftermath of the collision, witnesses were shocked that everyone survived. Seven of the 18 people involved were taken to the hospital, but only one was listed in critical condition.
“The truck was coming so fast, we actually ended up T-boning the truck, and it ran through that yield sign and when we T-boned them, I don’t really remember much after that,” said Tiger.
Both vehicles flipped onto their roofs. Tiger was pinned beneath the back of the van, where he had been sitting moments earlier.
His pelvis was shattered.
“I can’t move my left leg at all,” Tiger said. “I’ve been laying in this bed since the wreck happening.”
On top of the pain, guilt now looms, thinking about his battle with heroin addiction while nurses give him prescription painkillers for his injuries.
“They told me not to worry about it because it’s not like I’m going out getting high just to get high. I’m actually in pain and I need it,” Tiger said.
Tiger said he is the only one of the crash victims who remains hospitalized, as police investigate which driver was at fault. His hips will be replaced with metal plates Monday morning, and doctors plan to keep him in the hospital for at least another week before he is scheduled to begin physical therapy.
Tiger's best friend Samantha Heard launched a GoFundMe page to help with the medical expenses that are now piling up.
“I hope to ease the financial burden that they’re going to have with this unexpected tragedy,” said Heard.
The doctors told Tiger it will likely be two to three months before he can walk again. The rehab program promises him a spot to return when he is ready.