On the morning of May 14th, Ron Dietzler jumped in his prized 1959 'refrigerator white' T-bird he got as a Christmas gift from his wife 28 years ago and headed off to a car show in Payette. Not even an hour later his life would be forever changed.
"I got a call and they said that there was a slight accident and not to worry my husband was ok. Well, when I got there and I saw my husband. I knew that he wasn't ok, that it was a serious accident," said Judie Dietzler.
Judie quickly learned her husband Ron was struck by a drunk driver. His beloved car was destroyed, but now broken bones in his neck prevent him from moving, and his left hand is unrecognizable, but as his wife said, he is lucky to be alive.
"We're not only trying to put his body back together, we're trying to put his emotions back together," said Judie.
Judie said there was only 400 1959 T-birds like Ron's trophy winning car in existence, but now only 399, a reality that is tough to swallow for Ron.
"His heart is broken. It's just every time he thinks about it and every time he looks at pictures of the car he just breaks down in tears," explained Judie.
While attempting to work out the accident with insurance companies, someone asked Judie if there was anyone else in the car at the time of the accident. She said yes, one other person.
"They said who, and I said God. I said if God hadn't been in that car with my husband, my husband wouldn't be here today because that car was so badly mangled. It's hard to imagine how anybody could survive, but he is here and it's going to be a long recovery, but he is strong and he is determined," said Judie.
Now she wants to spread the message that the decision to get behind the wheel of a car impaired doesn't just affect your life, it can be devastating to others.
She said if anyone has been drinking, be responsible, and make sure you have a sober ride home.
"I'm not mad at the person, I'm mad at his decisions. He had the ability to make the right decision, but he made the wrong decision."
Ron is currently in a Treasure Valley rehabilitation facility working toward gaining his independence. No word on when he might be able to go home.