The sound of crunching metal still echoes in Rolando Cerezo's head. He said it's hard to forget the night of January 21 when his car was broad-sided by another vehicle in Addison.
It came as a surprise when he learned the person who hit him was State Rep. Stefani Carter (R-102nd District).
"I would not have known she was a rep until two days ago," Cerezo said.
Carter is now coming under fire for comments she made about that accident, calling it "life-altering." Her most recent statement came at a forum in Richardson.
"I, Stefani Carter, your current state representative, have had two life-altering events," she was heard saying in a recording of the event. "One is: I had a terrible accident. I could have died."
She also posed two questions: "What is the purpose of life? Do you love what you do? That moment of truth when you feel like your life could come to an end. You ask those questions of yourself.”
Cerezo calls it a move for political gain. The young man who now endures four days a week of physical therapy is taken aback.
"In my opinion, I was the victim, and she is ridiculous. Nothing happened to her," he said.
A police report shows it was Carter who hit Cerezo. He said the state lawmaker never needed medical help. He said she drove away from the accident scene in her car; his car was totaled.
Our calls to State Rep. Carter and her offices were not returned.
During that same Richardson forum, Carter motioned to her political opponent, fellow Republican Sam Brown, and continued to talk about the "life-altering" events, saying, "I know that our colleague here, Sam Brown, understands that."
News 8 caught up with Sam Brown, a veteran who was severely hurt serving in Afghanistan. He said the comparison Carter made between a fender-bender and military sacrifice is disrespectful.
“I expect people to look for political scores. The real hurt is that it diminished the true sacrifice of true veterans who laid their life on the line,” Brown said.
Cerezo cringes when he hears the phrase "life-altering."
“I should be saying that, because she left my car useless," he said.
Cerezo struggles with a knee injury and pinched nerves in his back and neck. But he said he is hurt more by what's being said by Rep. Stefani Carter.