SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — On Christmas Day 2019, one decision would change Nathan Lasky's life forever.
The 17-year-old was visiting his girlfriend when he got a call from his mother that he was late for his own family's celebration.
"It’s Christmas Day; I can get home in a minute," Lasky said.
As Lasky sped towards his parent's home, a red SUV made a left turn in front of him. “I just remember trying to avoid the car, and then everything went black,” Lasky said.
According to the Lasky family, Nathan was traveling at more than 100 miles per hour seconds before the crash.
The accident set the other vehicle on fire. Nathan's car was crushed, trapping Nathan in the driver's seat. “When I got up to the car, I thought he was dead,” Daren Lasky, Nathan's father, said.
Daren watched as it took 20 minutes for firefighters to pull his son to safety before rushing everyone involved in the wreck to the hospital.
“In the end, he had exploded l1, l2, and l3 in his spine,” Daren said. Nathan also suffered various other injuries and spent nearly a week on life support.
Thankfully, everyone involved in the crash survived.
Daren said his insurance company paid out a multi-million dollar settlement to the driver of the other car. Daren and Nathan both expressed remorse over the pain and suffering caused by the crash.
Under Arizona law, Nathan was charged with two counts of aggravated assault. Nathan agreed to a plea deal that sentenced him to 18 months behind bars without the possibility of parole.
“It’s the hardest thing I've ever been to do in my entire life,” Nathan said, speaking on a video visit from jail.
"It’s just a bunch of little things in life I took for granted," Nathan said. "Having my own bed, having my own light switch."
Nathan said he, like many other teens, felt invincible. While he knew he could potentially lose control, he never really thought it would happen. He never thought his decision could hurt others.
"There are consequences for your actions. You got to rethink what you are thinking."
For Nathan, it’s a decision he will never be able to take back, but he hopes others learn from his mistake, not to speed and put others in danger.
“I wish every teen or college student just to rethink some of the stuff you do before you do it. Because there is always a consequence for what you do,” Nathan said.
Now, this Christmas, Nathan will be away from his family for a decision that never should have been made.
“It would mean the world to have him back home and not have to worry every day about where he’s at and what’s happening and where he ultimately put himself," Daren said.
The family hopes Nathan's story will keep others from making similar mistakes.
Daren also wants to see the law in Arizona changed, so a 17-year-old is not charged as an adult for a one-time decision like this.
Up to Speed
Catch up on the latest news and stories on the 12 News YouTube channel. Subscribe today.