CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - This 31st birthday, PJ Barnes is extra grateful for his son and fiancée.
“I get to see him grow up,” Barnes says of 2-year-old Duke. “I get to walk down the aisle. I’m super blessed, super blessed.”
On this birthday, he’s happy just to be alive.
“Every birthday now is going to be much more special,” Barnes says. “Because you realize that, thank God, I made it through another year.”
Barnes was 20 minutes from home, wrapping up an Uber shift on West Sugar Creek Road and Argyle Road West when, a CMPD police report says, an oncoming driver swerved into his lane, crashing into him head-on.
“It just lets you know how fast life can be taken from you,” he says.
He was sent to the hospital with a dislocated arm, shattered pelvis, crushed leg and broken ribs. The report marks that the other driver was suspected to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
“I don’t know his situation,” Barnes says. “I hope this experience has taught him. I feel like this experience has taught all the people in my life.”
Barnes says he prays for the other driver, but he’d also like to see him held accountable. He says he’s called CMPD nearly every day since Jan. 13, trying to get answers.
“I don’t want anybody to think they got away with anything,” he says. “I guess it’s a big city, but I don’t want to feel like I’m left out.”
Barnes is a performer – a dancer and standup comedian. He teaches acting at Acting Out Studio in south Charlotte, and dance and film at Lake Norman Performing Arts.
“I keep telling people, I’m working on my sit-down routine,” he says, jokingly.
He says he is expected to make a full recovery. His goals now are twofold - to dance at his wedding this summer, and get the word out to others – don’t drive distracted.
“I don’t care what’s happening, it’s not worth it,” he says. “I mean, life is precious, and you only get one shot.”
WBTV contacted CMPD tonight on Barnes’ behalf. A spokesperson tells us, they’re going to look further into this case to make sure it’s been properly investigated, and they’re going to have a supervisor contact Barnes to go over what’s next.