Faith and family is helping Bakersfield man recover after motorcycle accident nearly killed him


A Bakersfield man continues down the road to recovery after a horrific motorcycle accident a few years ago.

Traveling through the area where he almost lost his life is getting easier for Andy Smith to handle.

“I remember freaking out.  I knew I was dying.  There was actually a passerby who came over, try to help me and said I was yelling ‘I’m dying,’ ‘I’m dying,’” he said.

On July 15 2009, Smith was riding his Harley from his apartment to River Lakes Church when he collided with a pickup truck, crushing him and lighting him on fire.

“I was in bed for the first three months, on life support really,” he said.

Smith suffered third and fourth degree burns.  All his fingers on his right hand and his left leg had to be amputated and after 43 surgeries he remains strong with the help of his family, close friends and his faith.

“There’s no other name given under heaven by which we must be saved and I’ve been through some serious stuff in life, I’ve been hurt, I’ve lost a lot, I’m still going to get hurt, I’m still going to lose more, but I still maintain that there’s no other road to heaven but through Christ,” he said.

Just last week, Smith started to walk again.

“I haven’t fallen yet and I hope I don’t,” said Smith.

He plans to finish seminary school and be able to live independently, but with medical bills piling up those dream may have to be put on hold.

“ Insurance has been great, but they only cover so much and with some of these devices that I wear and a lot of transportation, I’m going to have to pay for that myself,” said Smith.

While he figures a way to financially support himself, Smith continues to recover one day at a time.

“There’s  a passage on my leg that says cowards don’t enter the kingdom of heaven and it just reminds me that God calls me to be courageous,” he said.

Smith plans to publish an article in an international religious magazine next month just as he turns 31 years old.


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