For the first time, a survivor of Wauseon TMs deadly Christmas Eve car accident is speaking out to NBC 24. Wauseon police are charging 90 year-old H. Edward Johnson with vehicular homicide and vehicular manslaughter for his role in the accident. From his hospital bed, victim Brock Mealer tells NBC 24 about the crash that shattered his family.
Lying in a hospital bed isn't how Mealer thought he'd spend this holiday season. He thinks back to earlier days, like when he was working on a ranch, out West. He says the photos help him get by.
A lot of times, I don't realize where I am or what's really happened to me, he says, and when I do, it's a really sad feeling. But I look at those pictures and it puts me in a better mood.
Mealer's immediate family, plus his brother TMs girlfriend, was in their car when it was hit by Johnson. Police say he blew through a stop sign; it was Christmas Eve. Mealer's father and his brother's girlfriend died from their injuries. His mother and brother are recovering. Mealer says he has no anger toward Johnson.
It was an accident, I TMm sure, he says, and I really can't place blame like that, you know?
He remembers how he felt when he learned about the ones who didn't survive.
When I got to the hospital I just thought that everyone else was probably alright and I had just gotten the worst of it, he says.
Mealer's wall is covered with the notes of well-wishers. He says they give him the confidence to head back to the great outdoors.
We TMll plan that trip and climb it again, so I TMm very optimistic about that.
A Saint V's spokesman says, with rehabilitation and physical therapy, Mealer may walk again.