A Fort Worth police officer injured in a horrific crash three years ago is now telling his story.
When fellow officers saw Richard Lambing's patrol car they couldn't believe he got out alive. His family said he cheated death several more times when his brain swelled and he needed countless surgeries.
But after all the hardships he's endured, he remains committed to his department and what he did that day.
"What did I think about life when I realized what happened? It sure did change awful fast," he said.
Lambing was in a coma for the first four months. He spent nine months in the hospital and rehab recovering from a traumatic brain injury.
His skull had to be reconstructed. His right eye was damaged and he lost his hearing. The entire left side of his body also has limited movement.
But he started walking again with help about six months ago.
"He's come to grips with the fact that life is not like it was and won't ever be," said Jannette Beam, his cousin.
After 15 years as a Fort Worth police officer, Lambing could no longer work. He also had to take an honorable discharge from the Naval Reserves. He served as a lieutenant, an intelligence officer, during a tour in Iraq.
"It was pretty devastating for him. It had been his whole life," Beam said.
Lambing said he misses riding his Harley and being with his work buddies. But he wouldn't change what he did that day in July.
"I regret the accident happened. It's changed my life dramatically. But I would go help another police officer in an instant if I could," he said.
Lambing's family said the police department and friends have been helpful throughout his recovery.
KDFW FOX 4
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