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Cody Varney shares video story to teen drivers

By Kelsie Hoitomt

GLENWOOD CITY — It was just over one year ago in March 2012 that Cody Varney was riding in a vehicle with friends when he nearly lost his life after the vehicle lost control and rolled several times.

Varney suffered a broken tibia, femur, hip, ribs, sternum, punctured lungs and had massive third degree burns on his body from the truck’s exhaust pipe, all due to the accident. He spent months at the Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare unit before recovering well enough to go home and begin extensive therapy.

He returned back to school in time for his junior year last September, but he still remains in therapy twice a week and has complications with feeling in one of his feet due to nerve damage.

“It could have been worse. If it wasn’t for the seatbelt I would have died I think,” said Varney of the accident. “I never used to wear a seatbelt and now I make sure I always do and others do too.”

Now Varney hopes to educate drivers, especially teen drivers of the dangers that can occur when behind the wheel and the responsibilities that each driver holds.

Varney along with the help of friend Clarence Rogers, have created a 20 minute video that contains the raw audio from the 911 call and the neighbor who assisted, pictures of the accident and Varney’s recovery in the hospital and interviews from nurses and doctors at the hospital as well as his parents.

Varney plans to take this video and show it at other area school districts in order to educate students and teen drivers through his personal story.

He shared the video with the Glenwood City High School students last Wednesday, May 1 as part of the Mock Accident presentation. It was a very raw and emotional moment to the students in the gymnasium that day.

“Don’t be stupid and don’t screw around when you’re in the car. Wear your seat belt, don’t drink and drive or text and don’t get into the vehicle with someone else who does that or you could end up dead,” said Varney as he handed the microphone off and then hugged his mother as the students gave him a standing ovation with tear-filled eyes.