On March 31, 2012, Dan Parker was driving a pro modified car he built when he suddenly lost control and crashed into the wall at 175 mph.
“I have no memory at all of the wreck,” Parker said via FOX 5 Atlanta. “They brought me out of the coma two weeks later.”
Injuries caused Parker’s brain to swell, and it damaged his optic nerve. When he woke up from his coma, he was blind.
“Basically my life was over as I knew it,” Parker said. “I had my own business. I had a career racing drag racing cars. Everything in life that I enjoyed was no longer a possibility.”
But Parker didn’t let his blindness keep him from doing what he loves. He wanted to race, and he started to using Orcam, a device that uses artificial intelligence to help blind and visually impaired people read.
Now, Parker is a paraprofessional at a local high school in Phenix City, Alabama, and he teaches machine shop at the school. He still likes to race, and he drives with a passenger that helps him guide the car. He said he has a new goal behind the wheel.
“My ultimate goal is to become the world’s fastest blind man,” Parker said. “A blind man in Europe has been 200.4 miles per hour. So, my plan is, we’re going to bring that record home to the United States.”
Parker has worked his way back into competitive racing, and he hasn’t let his impairment stop him from chasing his dreams. It’s an incredible story, and his persistence and desire to continue racing is very impressive.