Woman uses personal experience to warn teens about driving drunk

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT)- Car crashes are the leading killer among teens and nearly a third have alcohol involved.

With high school proms coming up, one woman who never made it to her prom, has a special message.

It was a night that changed Ursula Pendland's life forever.

"My friend picked me up, he had already been under the influence and I had no idea. When I found out I had become really upset and I asked him to take me home. Before I knew it he started flooring it and we flew 50 feet into the air and crashed into a train embankment."

When she woke up, her entire body was crushed into the dash of the car

"I could feel all this pain, I couldn't breathe, I couldn't move."

Rushed to the hospital, doctors feared the worst.

"I remember looking up and all these doctors and the preachers and everyone was saying she's not going to make it ... and I remember thinking this is not it for me."

And it wasn't, not only did Ursula live she got enough strength to learn to walk again.

"I was never really a religious person, until I cried out to God that night and that really showed me who was in charge," she says.

She calls herself a miracle, but her dream to serve in the Air Force was smashed forever.

"My careless choice put me in a wheel chair and ruined three really great friendships."

The three other people in the car walked away with a few broken bones, the only sober one, Ursula, was in a wheelchair for several years.

So now she's using her story to warn teens.

"I'm blessed that I can help others to make that choice before they get in that car or to not drink and drive... because they may not be that lucky."


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