Teen survives deadly crash - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Teen survives deadly crash

Branden and his mother, Cathy Branden and his mother, Cathy
Branden Castleberry Branden Castleberry
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August 20, 2003

Moultrie--  A young man who survived a deadly car accident could have easily been paralyzed from neck injuries. After three weeks of recovery, he's out of the hospital bed, and out of a wheelchair.

Eighteen-year-old Branden Castleberry is lucky to be walking and talking. He says, "It's a halo because I got in a bad car accident."

The Moultrie teen wears a halo around his head because he broke his neck in three places. He was in car accident three weeks ago. Branden says, "I don't remember nothing of the accident."

Once Branden started getting better, he was told his friend, the driver, 17-year-old Kimberly Lamb, didn't survive. He says, "She was a nice person."

Twenty-year-old Juston McCall was sitting in the passenger's seat and was injured. Brandon adds, "I was in the back passenger seat."

Branden was expected to be paralyzed. His mother, Cathy Castleberry, sighs, "It was a nightmare."

At first, she was told her son could only move his hands. She explains, "I was thankful for that. My son's alive and if he's in a wheelchair the rest of his life, at least he has his hands."

Now he can move his hands and legs too. She smiles, "I'm just amazed, there is divine intervention."

No body was wearing a seat belt. Branden gives advice, "Wear your seatbelts. It will keep you out of a halo."

Branden has learned a lot from the crash that could have killed him. He says, "When I get back home it's going to be a whole different story." He's a high school drop out. Branden plans to go to technical school and is thinking about mechanics. Kathryn Simmons

Doctors still don't know the extent of Branden Castleberry's brain injuries and there's still a chance of him becoming paralyzed.

posted at 5:55PM by kathryn.simmons@walb.com