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Texas firefighter seeks change by sharing near-death experience to House lawmakers

Posted at 8:23 AM, Apr 06, 2023
and last updated 2023-04-06 11:56:13-04

AUSTIN, Texas — From the small town of Centerville to the big city, Colton Adams, a volunteer firefighter, went to Austin to testify in support of HB 898.

This bill is designed to raise the criminal penalties for those that don’t slow down and move over when first responders are working a scene on a roadway.

Standing in front of House Transportation Committee members, Adams painted the picture of the day he was hit by an 18-wheeler when working a scene in June 2022.

“All of a sudden I hear run and look out,” Adams said.

“As I turned to the direction of traffic, all I could see was red."

He then detailed his attempt to jump the cables that separated the roadways as the truck approached, but couldn’t get away quick enough.

This crash would ultimately kill the woman he was helping and injured another firefighter on the scene.

Adams’ colleague was life-flighted to a local hospital, and Adams lost his leg.

Colton Adam's leg injury
Colton Adams showing the committee his leg.

In front of the committee, Adams rolled his pants up and showed his prosthetic limb.

“Even though the physical injuries have been life changing, the post traumatic stress has been ongoing and I often relive the experience,” he said.

“Unfortunately, in my case, it appears the driver of the vehicle may receive very little criminal punishment for this crime.”

Adams ended his testimony by asking the committee to enhance the consequences by not allowing dismissal of charges, saying more drivers will be more intentional when passing active scenes.

“I am thankful that I survived so I can tell my story,” he said.

“But I pray that no one else has to experience what so many emergency responders and families have felt after a loved one has died or been seriously injured due to one of these incidents.”