It was the summer of 2011 when Marine Gunnery Sgt. David Smith was out riding his motorcycle, not too far away from his home in San Diego, California, when something unexpected happened— an SUV viciously rear-ended the decorated marine. He was launched onto the hood of the car and then into the street. The driver, seemingly upset, asked, “Is he dead?” before fleeing the scene and leaving the victim internally decapitated.
That Horrific Day of 2011
Smith had been to several tours of duty that were nowhere near safe in Iraq and Afghanistan. His mother had to enlist him when he was 17, as that’s what he’d always wanted to do. He also once survived a roadside bomb attack while on duty. For all his actions, he was presented the Bronze Star for valor. On that unfortunate day, the 34-year-old Marine Corps veteran was eastbound on Bernardo Center Drive near West Bernardo Drive, around 12:30 in the afternoon. He was waiting at a red light when Jessica Marie Bloom, who was driving her Chevrolet TrailBlazer, hit him from behind. When all was done, and Smith was lying on the road, unconscious, she got out of her vehicle, upset, “Is he dead?” and then picked up her front bumper that detached due to the impact before she drove off. She was followed by witnesses and would later be reported to the police.
Smith, unbeknownst yet to those who were around, was partially decapitated internally, his cervical bones shattered and his spinal cord was extensively damaged, and he was bleeding internally. That was apart from his lacerated kidney and liver that all combined to render him temporarily paralyzed. He was unresponsive when the medics arrived at the scene, so they initiated spinal-damage protocol to stabilize his neck and provided him with oxygen.
His MRI would later reveal his head all but severed from from his body internally, and the doctors had to make sure that his spinal cord would not be damaged further. After ten days, he underwent a very complicated procedure that involved fusing three of his cervical vertebrae back together. However, at that period, they doubted if Smith would ever walk again.