COOKEVILLE, TN (WSMV) - A Cookeville man that survived a hit and run crash last summer has died.

James Evans, 55, of Cookeville, passed away Tuesday morning due to complications from pneumonia.

Friends of Evans called News4’s Call 4 Action team last year when Evans was having trouble making his home ADA accessible in the months following his crash.

If there’s one thing Evans loved talking about, it was his wife and children.

“I’m married to a wonderful woman. I have a great family. I have six grandsons, ranging from 10 years old to six months old,” Evans said.

They’re the reason Evans worked so hard to get his strength back, even when you could see him fighting through pain.

For nearly 30 years, Evans dedicated his life to helping others while working as a nurse both in Nashville and across the country.

“I worked in hospitals. I did relief with Katrina,” Evans said.

He was working as a home nurse back in June when a car slammed into his vehicle, pushing it into a telephone pole and paralyzing him.

“For probably two months I was on a ventilator and I couldn’t speak because I had 21 broken ribs, and we only have 24 by the way,” Evans said.

Despite the crash, Evans never gave up. His happiest day came in December when he returned to his Cookeville home.

“I got home Christmas Eve, thank goodness. I got to spend it with my wife and all the adult children,” Evans said.

Living in a wheelchair was a new adjustment for Evans, but not a deterrent. More than anything, he wanted to show the world that living with disability should be acknowledged.

“We’re not normal in the community. Our society doesn’t recognize or see that. If you pay attention to commercials, TV programs, you don’t see people in wheelchairs. We’re not wired to see that. We don’t want to see that. It’s very unusual and we don’t accept that,” Evans said.

It’s that champion spirit his family will remember about Evans. A part of him they will undoubtedly miss but will never forget.

A GoFundMe page has been set up for James Evans. If you would like to donate to his family, click here.

Previously reported

Nashville nurse paralyzed following crash is back home with his family
Nashville Nurse who spent decades helping others now needs constant care
Man barricaded earlier charged with critically injuring Nashville nurse in hit-and-run
 

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