Community rallies around injured Waverly athlete - WSMV Channel 4

Community rallies around injured Waverly athlete

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Garrett Spence Garrett Spence
WAVERLY, TN (WSMV) -

A Waverly Central High football player who barely survived a horrific wreck in Humphreys County is recovering at home. Now, he's crediting his community, their donation drives, and their prayers for helping him regain his strength.

Saturday afternoon, 17-year-old Garrett Spence of New Johnsonville was back on Clydeton Road for the first time since a night that changed his life.

On Dec. 2, Spence was traveling on Clydeton Road near Waverly when his vehicle crashed over a turn next to a bridge.

"They say I lost control, and the truck flipped over once, and I landed next to the truck," said Spence.

After 20 minutes, resident Gregory Grice found the truck smashed below the bridge and Spence ejected from the vehicle lying face down.

"When I think about how I got out of the truck and where I was placed, it's kinda scary to think of," said Spence.

After paramedics flew him to Vanderbilt, Spence began a long road to recovery while his community sprang to action. A prayer vigil of hundreds was held for Spence, signs of support went up, Waverly Central High games were stopped for a moment of silence, the community declared a Garrett Spence Day, and fellow football players held events in Spence's name.

"I never would've guessed the whole community would come together the way they did," said Spence.

In the end, Spence's family said thousands were raised to pay the hospital bills.

"People made me cookies and all kinds of stuff," laughed Spence. "I ended up getting sick once. They were good! I've got people who are watching me, and they keep up with me from all around the world."

"He's come a long way," said Spence's father, David Spence. "He's re-learned to walk, talk. He can use his left side real well, and his right side's coming along real good."

Spence added he's going to be helping Waverly Central High football coach Trey Graves with coaching the team.

Neighbors said the area where Spence wrecked is the site of many crashes. Spence's family is hoping the curb will be straightened and a guard rail will be put in.  

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