One of your state lawmakers is back at work today after a serious car accident – one that he says he should not have survived.
WATE 6 On Your Side spoke with State Rep. Jeremy Faison, whose truck collided Friday with a tractor-trailer and flipping his own truck several times before leaving I-40.
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Faison, who is from Cocke County, was being very upfront that he was not wearing his seatbelt and that he hasn’t since he was a teen, saying now that things will change moving forward.
“I have never worn a seatbelt from the time I got a driver’s license,” Faison told WATE 6 On Your Side anchor Kristin Farley. “I hurt my back as a teen and wearing a seatbelt hurts my back. I remember thinking, ‘I’m not going to survive this…I’m not going to tell my kids goodbye, my wife goodbye…this is it.'”
From his part-time home in Nashville, Rep. Jeremy Faison told us how his life was spared.
“All I remember is I was going east on I-40 and I remember passing a trucker and then I hear a loud, bumping noise,” he recalled. “Then I was in the air, and I was thinking, ‘Lord you are not done with me yet…'”
Faison’s truck ended up on its side, one of the next things he remembers, is a trucker who stopped to help, telling him, “He said ‘his head is open, you can see his skull, we have to get the blood to stop,'” Faison recalled.
Faison was treated at an emergency room in Lebanon before being transported to Vanderbilt Medical Center. He says a doctor told him he was about to bleed out.
What happened in that ER forever changed his mind about seatbelts.
“He began to staple my head shut with nothing to deaden the pain,” Faison said, showing WATE 6 On Your Side the top of his head, a new zig-zag pattern on his scalp created with staples. “I remember thinking – the little bit of pain I feel in my back when I wear a seatbelt is ok….I can’t deal with this pain.”
Faison said the entire ordeal has also strengthened his resolve in possibly his most well-known legislative proposal, the medical marijuana bill.
“I am renewed in the fact that we need medical marijuana – from day one, they tried to give me opiates but I have refused,” Faison said. “But I have thought a lot about how – it would be wonderful if I could use some medical marijuana.”
He says he’s also taking away an even bigger message after his close call: “It makes you realize life is more important than a political party. I am thankful for the lesson learned, very humbling. I hope that one of the reasons I was spared was to be a voice to work across the aisle and not be a partisan hack.”