‘Just slow down because it’s not worth it’: Family urging safety after series of motorcycle accidents

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OKLAHOMA CITY -- Jared Wait doesn't remember how he got in the OU Medical Center Intensive Care Unit.

He's been told it was a driver running a red light on Western Ave., trying to make a left turn onto eastbound I-40. His smashed-up Harley Davidson motorcycle and shattered helmet are evidence of just how powerful the T-bone collision was.

In the hospital, Jared is bound by a wheelchair. He has a broken vertebra, a broken leg and a broken nose.

He apologizes as he wipes away tears.

"I'm sorry," he said. "Just to be back in the same boat again and I just wish people would just look out and quit paying attention to their phones or whatever."

It's hard for the father of four to be back in this position, starting all over again, after recovering from another motorcycle accident that cost him part of his leg.

In August 2014, Jared Wait was in the ICU, facing the difficult decision of whether or not to amputate.

"It was an option to keep the foot, but it was going to be a lower percentage of being able to ride again," Wait said, "so I done made the decision to cut it off."

For Jared and his wife Christian, their bikes are more than a method of transportation. They are a lifestyle.

"It's wind therapy," Christian said, who herself is recovering from a car accident just months earlier. "It's the feeling of just being out there and being free and experiencing fresh air as you drive down the road."

Now the couple are considering giving their bikes up altogether after their latest accident.

But before they make a decision, they want people to see the consequences of distracted and unsafe driving through their eyes. The couple is reminding drivers to check their mirrors and their blind spots, and consider the risks of racing to make a light.

"Just slow down because it's not worth it," said Christian. "Just slow down and things will come as they need to and if you're running late, leave earlier."

Jared Wait has left the hospital -- home for now, but surgery awaits sometime next week.

Meanwhile, his wife juggles her own physical therapy and medical treatment for her accident, while the couple tries to care for its four kids.

It's easy for Jared and Christian to wonder, "why us?"

"How are we supposed to move on, you know?" Christian asks. "But we will. We got through it last time. God will get us through. He's just trying to tell us something."

As for what that something might be?

"Don't take anything for granted: your legs, your feet, how you feel," Christian said. "Don't take anything for granted."

The family is trying to raise money to cover medical expenses. To donate and track Jared's progress, visit his GoFundMe Page.

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