Columbus Minister Blinded By Thrown Rock Devastated By New Accidents
A Columbus minister was left blind 14 years ago after a teenager hurled a rock from an I-70 overpass near Springfield, Ohio, and crashed through his car's windshield.
On Monday, that minister said he was devastated an incident like that had happened yet again.
The Reverend Doctor Johannes Christian almost died back in July 2001.
"I'm only here by the grace of God. I should have been dead,” he said.
On July 9, 2001, then 15-year-old Jacob McNary threw a rock over an Interstate 70 overpass.
It smashed through the windshield of Christian's car and hit him in the face.
10TV caught up with Christian Monday morning, just before he was scheduled to head to Orlando to share his story at a convention for the National Federation of the Blind.
Christian has traveled the world to share his message of forgiveness.
Yet he now he has another message: let kids know throwing rocks are not harmless pranks.
It wasn't easy for Christian to hear Monday that investigators are looking into roughly nine different people who may have been hit by someone throwing rocks near U-S 33 and 270 on the city's far east side.
"Well, you know, for me, and for my grandchildren it's immediate flashbacks to what we've gone through as a family,” said Dr. Christian. “And our prayer is, automatically, God I hope no one is hurt as bad as I was."
After the July incident with Dr. Christian, vandal-prevention fences were put up over interstates around central Ohio to prevent people from throwing rocks onto the highway.
Dr. Christian said he wants to get to the point where people simply don't want to do, that type of thing, at all.
"Young people need to understand the severity of what can happen just by throwing these rocks,” said Dr. Christian.
Despite the severity of what has happened to him, Dr. Christian his heart has not been hardened.
He has forgiven the teen who threw the rock at his car and still believes forgiveness is the message he was called to share.
"For me, my life is just grace and mercy,” he said.