Miracle Marine badly hurt by drunk driver goes home - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Miracle Marine badly hurt by drunk driver goes home

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - For more than three weeks, San Diegans have been pulling for Marine Gunnery Sergeant Dave Smith, who was left for dead by an accused drunk driver in Rancho Bernardo. Smith's recovery has been miraculous, and on Tuesday the war hero was discharged from Palomar Medical Center.

When we got the call telling us Dave Smith was going home from the hospital, we had so many questions for the miracle Marine, starting with, does he remember being slammed into by an accused hit and run drunk driver?

"I remember being at a red light just waiting for it to turn just about a block from my house," he said.

Smith doesn't remember getting rear-ended on his motorcycle on July 31 or the witnesses who saved his life.

"They're angels. God bless them," he said.

This tough Marine who survived an IED blast in Iraq, and now internal decapitation from the crash, has to hold his fingers over his healing tracheotomy to speak.

"It's amazing. I cheated death. I got lucky I had somebody looking over me," Smith said.

That someone wasn't a staggering Jessica Bloom, accused of driving with a .37 blood alcohol level when she smashed into Dave and sped away.

"Do I hate her? Absolutely not. Hate is a strong word but she did what she did and this is the result," he said.

The 21-year-old told her attorney she was depressed about her Marine husband's upcoming deployment, then went out and hit Dave Smith, a war hero deployed into combat zones four times.

"It is stressful on the spouse or a loved one, I do get that, but I don't think that it would constitute an afternoon .37 (blood alcohol content)," Smith said.

Smith suffers from some double vision and nerve damage is challenging his mobility, but with physical therapy he still plans on marrying his fiancée Vanessa and someday becoming a police officer.

He was wearing a Harley-Davidson t-shirt during his discharge, and says he'll continue riding motorcycles and wants to thank fellow riders for their fundraising support.

"San Diego has been incredible. So many people pulled together, it's been great," Smith said.

Jessica Bloom is expected back in court next Friday.

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