Sunday, October 12, 2014

Tim Boice

When you think of a driver's ed instructor, what kind of person do you think of? Not a quadriplegic. Do you remember the name of your driver's ed teacher? Did he/she make an impact on you? I didn't think so. Tim Boice is a different driver's ed teacher because he had to go through a traumatic, life-changing experience. He puts an impact on his students and gives them a "reverential fear of the road." This is his story...

The year was 1981. Just after 16 year-old Tim Boice had gotten his driver's license, he went to a Chargers game with his friend (who was the driver) in VW Bug (Remember those?). On the way back, they got into a rollover crash. The thing was, Tim wasn't even wearing a seatbelt. In an instant, his whole life was changed forever. It left him a quadriplegic. He couldn't run, walk, or ride a bike.

The aftermath was pretty bad. He couldn't go to school for the rest of the school year and had a tutor to teach him instead. Combine the tutor with Tim's hospital bills and his wheelchair and you'll find his father working super hard just to pay them off. His mother had to stop everything that she did to take care of Tim.

Thirty-three years later, Tim is still unable to walk. He has spent much more than half of his life in a wheelchair. He teaches today's drivers the mistake he made in the past and how such as simple decision changed his life. 

He can still drive using his modified Dodge Caravan. He uses an automated ramp to get into it, then drives his wheelchair where the driver's seat would be, where the wheelchair is locked into place. He uses a variety of levers to drive the vehicle. One of the levers controls the gas and brakes, while another turns the key. Unfortunately, he needs somebody else to fill up his tank at a gas station.

I had Tim Boice as a driver's ed instructor a few months back and he has left a lasting impact on me. In fifty years, I will probably be able to recall his name. I will be able to tell what he has taught me. Most importantly, I will be able to remember the mistake he made when he was young and know not to make the same mistake. Thank you Mr. Boice!

Image Credit: ISSUU

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