NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Even though a Nacogdoches County family survived a bad wreck, the crash caused a life changing injury for a little boy.
The accident has led to a community-wide effort to create change on a dangerous highway.
The movement is on behalf of 5-year old Cason Snider, his sister, and mother who are using their survival in a way to save the lives of others.
Cason Snider is tonight's survivor.
The Carl Monk Overlook on State Highway 7, about nine miles east of Nacogdoches, is one of the prettiest vistas in Nacogdoches County.
Chris and Terri Snider and their two children Cason and Lyla are lucky enough to see the view each time prior to turning onto County Road 236 where the family lives.
However, it presents dangers.
On the afternoon of April 8, Terri's attention, as always the practice, turned to another blind hill about a 100 feet away. She must cross it each time before reaching home.
"You have to go over two lanes and they can't see you until right then," Terri said.
In a split second, an oncoming SUV crashed into the Snider vehicle. Chris, a Nacogdoches police officer, was home asleep after working the night shift.
"Someone knocked on the door and got me up. I went outside to the road. I seen the car on fire.
My little girl she was standing there okay. I seen Terri across the street," Chris said. "Two guys were holding her up by each arm. She looked like she was hurting pretty bad."
Terri had broken ribs and a lacerated liver. The other driver received serious injuries as well.
Lyla, sitting in a backseat booster seat, received a seatbelt rash.
Cason, also in a backseat booster seat, was seriously injured.
"I asked him if he could move his legs and he was just hurting. In a lot of pain, saying 'my back hurts,'" Chris said. "He couldn't move his legs. I pretty much knew there he was hurt pretty bad."
The little boy who loves superheroes is paralyzed from the waist down. The doctors give him a 4 percent chance of ever walking again. Yet, he's a survivor.
"We still have him. His head is still the same. He still has his brain," Terri said. "He still has his arms. There's a lot he can still do."
Cason and his family strive to remain strong and courageous. Words found in a favorite Bible verse are also on T-shirts worn by Cason's team of support.
"Be courageous in the fact that he's still here, and he has the courage to face each day, as well as his parents," said Tammy Davis, a family friend.
Cason's survival is motivating the Sniders and their community to advocate for change on the dangerous Highway 7, so others will live.
Terri's letters to highway officials brought about new safety signs alerting motorists of the dangerous turnoff.
In addition to the safety signs, TxDOT's Lufkin-Nacogdoches District has sent off a letter to TxDOT officials in Austin asking for a slower speed limit on Highway 7, east of Nacogdoches.
"There's not a 100-yard section without a turn or a driveway coming off of it," Chris said.
"I don't understand the push to go higher and higher on these roads," Terri said. "I don't get it."
The young parents do understand their number one priority is Cason. Chris is even training a therapy dog for his son. Lots more will come Cason's way.
"He's going to be able to get the wheel chair that can go outside, go anywhere," Chris said. "I can't wait to help someone, the way they helped me."
An intuitive mother and father know they'll get through it all.
After all, Cason is now the superhero ready for the challenge.
"I'm interested in what comes next, cause I know that there's big things in store for Cason," Terri said.
A TxDOT spokesperson said a speed study is complete and has been sent to highway commissioners for review. A decision on whether or not to change the Highway 7 speed limit could come within four to six weeks.
A benefit account to help the Snider family has been opened at Commercial Bank of Texas.
Remember, if you have a Survivors story, send an e-mail to email@example.com.