- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 6, 2015

ABILENE, Texas (AP) - Jason Self is thankful to be alive after a Jan. 14 bus-train collision that left him critically injured.

Self, a correctional officer for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, said he has no memories of the crash, which occurred when a prison bus taking inmates from the Middleton Unit in Abilene to Sanchez State Jail in El Paso skidded off an icy road near Odessa and slid down an embankment into the path of an oncoming freight train.

Two of Self’s colleagues - Middleton correctional officers Christopher Davis and Eligio Garcia Jr. - were killed, along with eight of the 12 inmates on the bus.

The Abilene Reporter-News (https://bit.ly/1dNN2kb ) reports Self, of Baird, discussed his continuing recovery Tuesday during the 16th annual TDCJ Fallen Officers Memorial Ceremony at the Middleton Unit.

“I have no recollection of the accident, and almost nothing about that day,” said the nearly 19-year veteran correctional officer. “I remember driving to work, but that’s about it.”

Self said it’s “somewhat aggravating” to be unable to recall the events of the day, or the aftermath of the crash, noting that he still has significant short-term memory issues.

“It is highly likely - later this afternoon - that I won’t remember meeting you, or doing this interview,” Self said. “I have to write things down or have someone help me remember.”

Self said recovery is a slow process, but he continues to make progress.

“I have good days and bad days,” he added. “I still have work to do to rehabilitate my hand, shoulder and neck, but it’s going all right. I get a lot of support, and for that, I’m thankful.”

Self said he has been humbled by how the TDCJ has supported him and the families of the fallen officers.

“The outpouring of love and support has been amazing,” he said.

Self said that although he is not sure when he will return to work, he continues to strive for that.

“The more I move, the better I feel,” he added. “I just take it one day at a time - and thank God for each one.”


Information from: Abilene Reporter-News, https://www.reporternews.com

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