Toormina skater's future destroyed
DRINK driving cost Toormina’s Blake Ballard his dreams and ambitions and changed his life forever.
The harshest reality was the 22-year-old wasn’t behind the wheel or even in a car.
He was struck on a pedestrian crossing in Sydney by a disqualified driver, who police said was drunk and drug-affected.
“It changed my life completely, I still can’t remember the accident, I just woke up in a hospital after nine days in a coma,” Blake said.
“That accident took a lot away from me, I was a sponsored skater with big goals.
“Since the accident my brain hasn’t been the same, it has trouble telling my legs what to do on a board now,” he said.
Eager to highlight the dangers of drink driving, Blake will tell his story to locals charged with driving under the influence.
He will do so as part of the six-week traffic offender course that drink drivers attend at the Coffs Harbour PCYC prior to their sentencing.
“I just hope my story makes a difference,” he said.
“Since my accident I live with the effects of drink driving every day, it just isn’t worth it, hopefully people realise that after hearing what happened to me.”
“It’s been a hard, long road that I’ve been down ... everything was taken away from me after I crossed that road that day.
“I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Blake said he has only got his life back on track through rehabilitation through the North Coast Brain Unit.
“Slowly things are coming back to me on the board, I hope I get back to the level I was at before the accident,” he said.