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Changing a tire forever changed the life of Pechone Stepps.

Back in 2002 when Stepps tried to change that flat tire, he was a successful assistant basketball coach at St. John’s University. Today, he’s still a successful basketball coach, but he’s coaching freshmen and sophomores at the local high school and getting around in a wheelchair and walker.

Eight years ago, Stepps was on his way to a family reunion when the car he and his two brothers were riding in blew out a tire on an interstate highway not far from his parents home. After pulling over to the side of the highway, Stepps slid under his SUV to change the tire.


When an underage drunk driver slammed into the SUV, Stepps was run over by his own vehicle.

“I had a broken neck, a broken arm and road rash,” Stepps told the Morning Sun. “Right there, laying on the ground, I couldn’t move, couldn’t feel anything, so I knew it was bad.”

His life would never be the same.

He spent three weeks in a nearby hospital, fighting to survive. From there, he was moved to a rehabilitation hospital in Colorado. It was there that he began to fight to recover from the paralysis that now claimed the lower half of his body.


He had to relearn things he had long ago taken for granted: how to get out of bed, how to sit in a chair, how to go to the bathroom, how to move from one room to another, and so on.

Stepps’ rehabilitation continued after he moved back to his parents’ home. It was at that time that another small event changed his life: He discovered that he was able to wriggle the big toe on his right foot.

With a focused determination, Stepps continued his efforts to reclaim his ability to walk. By 2007, he took his first unassisted steps since the car crash five years earlier.

Today, he continues his strenuous efforts to fully regain his ability to walk.

He told the Morning Sun that he fully expects to someday walk away by himself from both his wheelchair and walker.

Many spinal cord injury victims never have that opportunity.


With a complete spinal cord injury, the victim is paralyzed for the rest of his or her life, unable to move any part of his or her body below the point of the injury. This kind of severe physical trauma can be life-shattering, resulting in lifelong medical bills and medical care.

If you or a loved one has suffered a spinal cord injury due to a drunken driver or roadside accident, contact an Atlanta personal injury lawyer who can assess the facts of your case and inform you of your legal options. A personal injury lawyer will use the law to help you get the compensation you need for medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.