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Gabriel Hurley talks to juniors about his life changing crash

Photo Credit: Emily Vogler
Principle of Colonia High, Mr. Pace, thanking Hurley for his presentation

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A couple days ago, Gabriel Hurley came to Colonia High School to present his story to the juniors. Mrs. Murphy, Vice Principal at Colonia High, thought it’d be important for him to share his story.

She felt that he was the most appropriate speaker for the campaign. That campaign is part of the “U Got Brains” program, which is a program that is going on in high schools across New Jersey. Each high school creates a campaign and at the end of the year the best campaign wins and gets a prize. Gabriel Hurley’s presentation met a requirement for this program and really left a message for the students. Now, all of the students are aware of what could happen when driving recklessly. Remember, be responsible when driving, you don’t want to risk your life and especially the life of others.

About four years ago, Gabriel Hurley was in a terrible car accident. He never expected something like this to happen to him. This accident changed his whole life and the people around him. It all happened the night before Hurley was leaving for Las Vegas, he realized that he needed to go out and buy toothpaste and other necessities for the trip. On his way home he decided to take a different route. As he was coming onto the bridge, a 17 year old driver crashed into the side of the bridge and bounced back and crashed into Hurley’s car. According to NJ.com, during the accident the air-conditioning compressor broke Hurley’s windshield and hit him in the face.

Due to the blunt impact, not only did he lose about four out of his five senses, but he also suffered many more casualties. His jawbone broke in half at his chin, his eye sockets were caved in and jagged, and he suffered a broken hand. After the crash, when he was in the hospital, they had to reconstruct his entire skull. Clasps and strips of titanium pinned the bones in his face together.

While the result of the accident was drastically life-changing, Hurley lost his sight, taste, smell, and hearing (in his left ear). He comments it’s an everyday process, having to re-learn things he once took for granted. It wasn’t easy getting used to this new lifestyle.

He comments, “The scariest part of the crash was waking up in the hospital not being able to see and not knowing what is going on.”

In all, Hurley doesn’t have much memory of the crash. All of his family and friends stayed by his side, except for his girlfriend at the time. This crash had a positive impact on them and they handled it very well. His friends and family did not baby him which is what he wanted. He didn’t want his friends and family to pity him, he wanted them to treat him like they used to. If you wonder the fate of the teenage driver, he ended up fine. He sustained nowhere near as many injuries as Hurley, but a broken wrist and a ticket for reckless driving. 

 

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The student news site of Colonia High School
Gabriel Hurley talks to juniors about his life changing crash