LAS VEGAS -- A 15-year-old student critically injured by a school teacher accused of DUI is talking about his traumatic experience. Conan Obenchain is still recovering while the woman who hit him sits behind bars.
On February 3, 2012 at 5 a.m., Obenchain's life forever changed. He was sitting at a bus stop at Spring Mountain and El Camino Roads. One minute he was sipping his Coke and the next he was flying through the air.
"I can't hate that woman for what she did to me," Obenchain said.
He refuses to have hostility in his heart against 26-year-old Noel Lardeo, the woman who hit him.
Doctors amputated one leg and they're trying to save the other. The Bonanza High teen is turning the tragedy into triumph.
"At the beginning, I thought maybe the world's given up on me," Obenchain said. But he soon realized he wanted something good to come out of his tragedy. He recalled his martial arts training and the mental discipline he learned.
"My mind has become stronger and I can endure more," he said.
"He's the bravest person I know," said Conan's father Patrick Obenchain.
He says his son's willpower has helped him endure sleepless days and nights.
At some point, a jury will consider Noel Lardeo's condition on the morning of the accident. They will decide if she was under the influence of alcohol. Her attorney questions the accuracy of Metro's field sobriety tests saying they were done on an incline, Lardeo was barefoot, winds were high, and it was cold.
The family's attorney, Craig Perry, says it should be a lesson to any driver about the consequences of actions.
"Before you get in a car, think twice about what you're doing," Perry said.
Meanwhile, Conan focuses on healing. Before the crash, he was days away from getting a Black Belt in Kung Fu which is the highest honor. Now, he's using his mind to win his greatest battle.
"One way or another, I will get through it but it depends on how I want to think about it," he said.
The trial is set for June 11.
An account for Conan's medical bills has been set up at U.S. Bank.
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