MAUMELLE, Ark. – It is a moment a high school student wasn’t sure he would have, but Monday the dream came true when a special ceremony was held at Maumelle High School after a young man was in a car crash while on the way to graduation.       

Harvey Shelton says it was a graduation he never imagined for himself but says what the community and school did for him today will forever be remembered.

The 18-year-old Shelton said he was in a car accident the day of graduation on Saturday which caused him to miss it.

“I was driving [and the car in front of me] had swerved into the lane at the last moment and I had seen a semi-truck with caution lights on. I had to get out of the way and I couldn’t get out of the way in time and crashed,” Shelton said.

Shelton said he was stuck in the car for an hour before first responders were able to get him out.

“The whole front was caved in on my legs. I really couldn’t feel my legs at all,” Shelton said, adding, “They actually cut both of my doors off on the left side and they had to drag me out on the back door in order to get me out. I just felt blessed to even be able to see my legs.”

His stepmother Mauzie Shelton said he would soon have more to be thankful for when he said he came out partially unscathed.

“When they said there was nothing broken I was like ‘My God,’” Mrs. Shelton said.

Shelton was amazed he wasn’t badly hurt.

“A big gash in my leg, no broken bones, just 40 stitches,” Shelton said.

Shelton’s parents were at his graduation when they found out about the crash and went to the hospital praying he was alive.

“It went from the happiest day to the scariest day it’s been a lot,” Mr. Shelton said.

Seeing their son with one thought in mind.

“At that moment I was like God he is alive,” she said, adding, “When I got in there I was giving him all kinds of kisses.”

His thoughts were on the graduation he missed but little did he know the day after the school made an extra ceremony for him and his friend who left graduation to be by his side.

Shelton said he is grateful to those who took the time to come out and support him and he is also thankful he gets to walk across the stage and complete this milestone.

“I’ll just say people need to keep God in their life because if I didn’t I wouldn’t be here today,” he said.

Shelton said he plans to enlist in the National Guard and after that, he says he will be going to South Arkansas University for computer science.