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Katy Car Crash Survivor to Pay it Forward; Trains to be a Firefighter


October 1, 2022

By Natalie Cook Clark

Sam Mills survived a horrific car crash his senior year at Tompkins High School. The city rallied around Sam and the Mills family as he fought for his life and continues to inspire. Now Sam starts a new chapter, one that gives back and honors first responders like the ones that came to his aide that night.

Sam Mills trains to be a firefighter. Photo courtesy the Mills family.

Wants to Help Others like he was Helped

In coming full circle, Sam Mills hopes to be there to help others in the same way first responders worked to save him when he was ejected from his vehicle during a crash.

To Pay it Forward

“I feel I need to pay it forward,” says Sam Mills.

Sam and his mom Carrie the week he was accepted.

Sam has been accepted into the Harris County Firefighters Academy and is on his way to reaching that need.

“I applied because I wanted a career that I would enjoy, use my gifts and look forward to furthering my future by helping and serving,” says Sam.

While he hasn’t kept in touch with all the first responders who rushed to his aide that night, Sam says that his experience inspired him to think about the behind the scenes of it all.

Training and Working at Chick-fil-A

Sam is currently taking time off from the studies he started at Dallas Baptist University and focusing on his health and continued recovery. He works full-time at the Pin Oak Chick-fil-A.

“A firefighter approached me and gave me his card in the drive thru at CFA,” says Sam. “He asked me to give him a call. He knew about my story.”

Sam is passionate about helping people and talking to them about his accident. On December 26, 2020, Mills was ejected from his vehicle during an accident. He wasn’t wearing a seatbelt. He was fortunate to survive and uses his experience to educate teenagers.

This year Sam teamed up with the Kailee Mills Foundation and worked to get ‘Buckle Up. Someone Loves You,’ signs at all Katy ISD schools.

The Kailee Mills Foundation is a nonprofit that was created following the fatal accident of Houston area high school student, Kailee Mills who died in October 2017 when she unbuckled for a moment to take a selfie.

The foundation, like Sam, focuses on seatbelt safety and educating others.

A passion to save lives that Sam is sure to take with him to his firefighter training. “I want to help people who might be in the same position I was in,” says Sam. “I want to be there for them in a compassionate way.”

Higher Respect for Firefighters

Sam is training for seven long months and then will get directed to a department.

“I have a higher respect now for this field of service,” says Sam. “They saved my life. As I move on I’m still trying to understand what happened to me and again that’s why I wanted to get involved and become a firefighter.”

“I’m looking forward to this training as I persevere,” says Sam.

#KatyECEC #Town&Country


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