NEWTON – Pastor Cory Stout was helping dig someone’s car out of a snowbank when another car came along and crashed into them.
Police say a drunk driver was behind the wheel of that second car. The pastor has deep cuts on his face, but his spirit, he says, is not broken.
During his 10 years as a senior pastor in Newton, Cory Stout has preached and practiced a message of helping others.
“I’m not perfect, but I’ve certainly come to this place in my life where I’ve experienced forgiveness from God and know that he know invites me to extend that to others,” said Stout.
Around 8:40 p.m. Wednesday, Stout was leaving his church, when he saw a car had slid off the icy road and was stuck in a snowbank.
“Probably standing right here, kind of shoveling her out and I didn’t see the other car coming, but it came down the hill and hit the car that I was shoveling out and that car hit me, it probably threw me back into the snow,” said Stout.
An alleged drunk driver, 19 year old Rey Khalil started the chain reaction, badly injuring Stout.
“I’m on my hands and my knees and I’m bleeding and there’s an accident and I can feel my head, and I can tell there’s blood,” said Stout.
His injuries afterwards were extensive. One cut closed by seven stitches. Another one was glued shut and the lower part of his cheek had what doctors called “road rash.”
“I realized pretty quickly that I’m going to need some help getting to the hospital,” said Stout.
An ambulance crew arrived, but a friend took Stout to the hospital. His injuries are slowly healing, but it’s his faith that’s driving his recovery.
“It’s been overwhelming for my wife and I, just to receive so many prayers from people and love from our church family,” said Stout. “It’s certainly been a blessing.”
As for the driver, who was booked for DUI, Stout says he hopes to one day meet him.
“Sometimes, bad things happen but God can turn those around for good,” said Stout. “That’s my prayer, that’s my heart is that God would bring good out of this, and that even for this young man, absolutely I forgive him and would want him to know that.”
Rey Khalil was taken to the Jasper County Jail. He was released on a $1,300 bond and is charged with operating while intoxicated.