Hawley man taking first steps after head-on collision with semi, benefit to celebrate recovery tonight

HAWLEY, M.N. (KVLY) A Hawley man is taking his first steps to recovery after a head-on collision with a semi-truck last November.

The crash left Christopher Leigh with nine broken bones, including both of his legs.

"I just remember seeing glare and then seeing white from the impact," Leigh said.

It's a day he says he still looks back on.

"I could hear the entire vehicle screeching and spinning," Leigh said.

While making a left turn at the intersection of highways 9 and 10, near Glyndon, Minn., Leigh's car was hit head-on by a semi truck rolling full speed ahead.

"I thought I was fine at first. I didn't feel anything, I was like, 'Oh gosh.' I didn't know that I was bleeding or anything. Then I started coming to my senses and realized that my legs didn't move, neither one of them," he said.

Leigh was rushed to the hospital where he stayed for just over two weeks while undergoing three surgeries to help repair his femur, both knees and right arm.

And those injuries left him bed-ridden for almost two months.

"It was quite boring and quite frustrating! You're stuck there. You can't move," Leigh said.

But with weeks of rehab under his belt, Leigh recently just started walking again.

"That was pretty scary. I didn't have hardly any muscle control," he said.

He says his constant pain and trying to navigate what's safe for him to do have been the hardest parts of his recovery.

"Learning to use your legs again when the muscles aren't there, it's like, 'Ok, how far can I push myself and what's safe?'" Leigh said.

Luckily, Leigh says, he's ahead of schedule and should be able to go back to work within the next few weeks—Something to celebrate at tonight's benefit put on by Leigh's coworkers and community.

"I'm just amazed! This town has been so great to us," he said.

While the road has been a long one, Leigh says it could have been worse and he's just thankful for another day.

"I'm so grateful I can't even explain," he said.

Leigh's benefit is going on Tuesday, Feb. 25, at the Hawley Elementary school until nine p.m.

If you can't make it, but would still like to donate to Leigh and his family: https://lendahandup.org/give/#/charity/190