HOUSTON — He could have died, but for the first time, Department of Public Safety Trooper Chad Blackburn heads home to spend Thanksgiving with his family.
“On that tragic day, we could have been planning a funeral, but today, it's a celebration,” DPS Sgt. Stephen Woodard said.
The nightmare for the Blackburn family started in the early hours of Labor Day when an alleged drunk driver, Tuwanna Moore, crashed into the trooper's parked car on the shoulder of I-45.
After several surgeries and months of extended care, his smile says it all.
“He's really doing well. He's ahead of schedule on his recovery. We were hoping for Christmas, not Thanksgiving, so we're very thankful right now,” his wife, Sherri Blackburn, said.
The community feels especially blessed having supported the Blackburn family, both emotionally and in some cases financially.
“Seeing the community outpouring for his success, in getting back to driving that patrol car, and not riding in it, it`s just wonderful,” DPS Lt. Craig Cummings said
“For people to come out of their homes, and to give that tells me and reassures me that the Houston community really cares about law enforcement,” Woodard said.
So as we enter another holiday weekend, the family's hopes are that if you're celebrating — don't drink and drive. Not every story like this ends with Thanksgiving.