Victim in drunk driving accident shares story on New Year's Eve

Posted at 9:00 PM, Dec 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-31 22:11:22-05

According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 28 people die each day in motor vehicle crashes involving an alcohol-impaired driver. On New Year's Eve, the likelihood is even greater since most people choose to ring in the new year with alcohol. 

Travis Bigham's life was changed forever when he was just 21 years old.

"I think they even said, at the beginning, that he wasn't going to live," said Lynna Burke, Travis' mother.

Lynna said Travis and his roommate were driving home drunk at 4 a.m. on July 25 in 2010. His roommate was driving the car and crashed it into a tree.

"Police predicted about 70 miles per hour," said Lynna. 

According to Lynna, the driver walked away unscathed while her son ended up in the hospital. Travis wasn't wearing his seatbelt and slammed back into his headrest, causing a severe traumatic brain injury.

"He ended up being at Hillcrest two and a half weeks, then we went to rehab centers all over Texas for recovery," said Lynna. "He was in a coma for four months."

Now 29 years old, Travis has defied the odds through multiple forms of therapy. He's learned how to walk again and he's working on regaining his speech at Baylor University. 

"They said that he may be a vegetable at best. May not walk again, may be blind in one eye," said Lynna.

Tom Burke, Travis' stepfather, has been in his life for a little over a year now. He's seen how hard his stepson has worked to get where he is now. 

"I've seen him improve quite a bit," said Tom. "When I first met Travis he was using a walker. He's trying, every day he tries and he's moving forward. I have nothing but respect for him."

While it's difficult for Travis to remember what happened nearly eight years ago, he's reminding everyone to make the smart decision this New Year's Eve.

"Don't drink and drive," said Travis.

"You always say 'oh, it can't happen to me,'" said Tom. "It can."

"I'm the most grateful person in the world," said Lynna. "I can't say it enough because we never expected him to come this far, not even close." 

If you live in the Waco area and are in need of a safe ride home on New Year's Eve, Waco Transit System is offering its "Safe Ride Home" program from 6 p.m. to 3 a.m. You can call 254-750-1620 to book your free trip. 

Tow King will also offer free vehicle towing between the hours of 6 p.m. and 3 a.m. Free tows can be arranged by calling Tow King at 254-666-5484. 

Daniel Stark law firm will be providing free Uber rides for New Year's Eve. To sign up, click here. 

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