Harrisburg Supports Injured Teen after Car Wreck
HARRISBURG - In a town of 271, a high school basketball game is the place to be on a Wednesday night. It was the first game of the season, and the lady bulldogs were taking on Macon High. The girls in red and white weren't the only ones getting cheered on that night. Much of the crowd actually wore blue, in support of David Bromegan.
"We definitely miss him and it's hard not seeing him here," said Harrisburg High School senior Caitlin Atkins. "I felt like I wanted to do something to show people and to show
him how much he meant to us."
"The whole community of Harrisburg has just come together for us," David's mom, Pam Bromegan said.
Pam is originally from Columbia, but has lived in Harrisburg since 1998. She needed her town's support after getting a message every mother dreads.
"I had a phone call from the hospital at 3 o'clock that David had been in an accident," she said.
On November 12, at approximately 1:45 p.m., 16-year-old David Bromegan's truck went airborne over Highway 124 in Boone County. It ran through a barbed wire fence and hit a tree in Don Matheny's yard.
"I seen a flickering light coming down through the trees and when I finally figured out what it was, it was a black pick up truck and he was going way out of control," Matheny said.
David's truck traveled nearly 1,500 feet off the road, slammed into a tree and then caught fire.
"It was just, like a bomb, it exploded. The parts went 50 feet in the air," he said describing the scene.
Matheny said he called 911 and ran to his home to grab a fire extinguisher. He was able to put out the fire and then waited for emergency crews to arrive.
"Said you've got somebody here who's having trouble breathing and you'd better hurry," he said.
"The highway patrolman that it was very very bad and that through all his years of being a trooper he had never seen anything this bad," Pam said.
Pam said when she saw the truck at the salvage yard, she was shocked David survived.
"All I could do was walk around and say, ‘Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, how, what?'"
David broke his thigh bones, ankles, four toes on his right foot and fractured his jaw and right arm. At this time, they do not know the cause of the accident, but David was wearing his seatbelt and was not texting and driving.
"Prognosis right now is good, we are going to go through rehab at Rusk, but we will walk again," Pam said.
Pam's so confident because she's been to the hospital with David many times. He just got out of the hospital six days before the accident.
"David has Crohn's. He was diagnosed at 11 with Crohn's," Pam said.
Crohn's syndrome is a type of inflammatory bowel disease.
"He'd have to go to the bathroom anywhere between 35 to 50 times a day," Pam said. "He was just in severe pain."
At 12, he had his large colon removed.
"He's very strong, just unbelievable," Pam said. "His classmates have been through this with him from the time it began in sixth grade."
His classmates haven't gone anywhere. When the students heard about David's accident, they took action fast.
"Less than 24 hours after David's accident I got a call from Angie McBride, the school counselor, saying the kids had come to her with an idea for fundraising and it was for t-shirts," Pam said.
The students started selling blue t-shirts that read "Stand Strong for David" right away and at the first basketball game decided to sport their support.
"It just kind of broke my heart because this kid's been fighting for his life since he was in the sixth grade with a disease and then this happens and he just didn't deserve it," Atkins said.
"It has been overwhelming the support," Pam said.
This night in Harrisburg, the hometown is the hero. So far, the school has raised more than $1,500 for David and his family. Some of that money came from the guest team that played Harrisburg Wednesday. If you are interested in supporting David, please contact Harrisburg High School.