Utah teen who nearly died in dirt bike accident grateful for second chance at life

LAYTON, Utah – A Layton teen who nearly died Easter Sunday in a dirt bike accident at the Little Sahara Sand Dunes is grateful for a second chance at life.

Just six weeks ago, Cole Cheney’s family was preparing to make funeral arrangements, but today, he is a walking miracle.

“All I remember from that day is getting ready and going out,” said Cheney.

Cheney was with a cousin and friend when he went off a jump on his dirt bike. That’s when he collided with an ATV that pulled into the landing zone. Cheney landed head first downhill.

He suffered a traumatic brain injury; shattered his skull, two vertebrae and broke a finger. He was taken to a Utah Valley Hospital in Provo.

“When the doctor came in and told us he needed emergency brain surgery, that's when it got real,” said Kelly Cheney, Cole’s mother.

Cheney spent two days in a coma. His family prepared for the possibility that he may not make it.

“I went into the bathroom and I hit my knees. I just prayed,” said Kelly Cheney.

But Cole was determined. He worked with a physical and speech therapist.

“Everything he said, did, it was, 'he shouldn't be doing this. He can't do this, and then he does it',” said Kelly Cheney.

Cole made remarkable progress.

“Most of my doctors have told me I should be in a wheelchair wiping the drool from my face," Cole said.

He’s still got a way to go. He can’t play football or ride again. It’s tough to read right now because of the head injury.

But he’s counting his blessings.

“There were angels watching out for him that day. My husband's father passed away seven years ago, and I know for a fact he was there. He had EMT's that were right there on site,” said Kelly Cheney.

“It's crazy. It's a miracle for sure,” said Cole Cheney.

Cole will return to Syracuse High this fall. While he won’t be playing football, he’ll be helping the team out in some capacity.