VAN ZANDT COUNTY, Texas — 18-year-old Keith Kirkpatrick is one of three teenagers who crashed into a tree earlier this week in Van Zandt County.
He said he wanted to speak out because he doesn't want any other kids his age to take the same risks that led to his injuries.
"I don't want another kid or adult going through it I had to go through," Kirkpatrick said.
Kirkpatrick says he's surprised his injuries aren't more severe.
"I kept getting out of the passenger window," he said. "And I would climb into the back of the truck, you know, get whatever snack or drink we needed."
Kirkpatrick was in the passenger before climbing into the back. He said they were on backroads when they hit a corner.
"I was looking down," he said. "And next thing I know I hear the truck start losing control. And we hit a ditch and went up and down. My guess, we were going about 45 whenever we hit the tree."
Kirkpatrick said he flew right into the back window of the truck, shoulder-first, cutting his face.
"Andrew was standing there hunched over because he hit his head," Kirkpatrick said. "And my cousin was sitting on the ground, and you know, feeling his face, making sure he was okay. And I was like, 'Hey, I'm gonna go get some help.' Like I felt the blood dripping down my face."
Later Kirkpatrick said the doctors at the hospital told him outside of his cuts, there was a laceration on his kidney and he bruised his rib.
The 100 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day are known as the 100 deadliest days for teens behind the wheel, and Texas has more summertime crash deaths involving teen drivers than any other state.
Kirkpatrick hopes to be released from the hospital Sunday. The other two involved in the crash were released from the hospital earlier this week.