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Long-running ‘Road Radio Show’ inspired by car crash

In what typically is touted as the best year of a high schooler’s life – senior year, Jim Mothersbaugh was involved in a traumatizing car accident that left him in a coma for three months.

Mothersbaugh got in the back seat of vehicle being driven by his friend, who was drunk at the time. The friend fell asleep at the wheel and the vehicle hit an embankment at 70 mph.

Mothersbaugh’s face was “mangled” and it was expected that he would never walk again.

But out of tragedy rose an educational program that has reached students statewide and beyond, helping to teach the dangers of drugs, alcohol and driving under the influence.

Mothersbaugh started visiting schools to give speeches on his experience shortly after finishing school himself. He received the governor’s Highway Safety Award in 1990.

In 1992, he started the Road Radio Show with the help of Bryon Carey and Andrew Keister.

Prior to the wreck, Mothersbaugh was both a self-proclaimed jock and theater geek. He played football for Muncy and also was involved with song and dance crew, he said. He incorporated his background into the new show.

“It’s more than an assembly, it’s a way to teach,” said Mothersbaugh, known as Jimbo Radio at the schools where he presents his program. “It’s a multimedia approach to reaching kids.”

The show includes a slideshow of

photos from his accident while his mother narrates the story of her son’s near-death. But it’s not all doom and gloom.

Music plays a big part in the show, with a mix of today’s hits and some classics. The program is done similarly to a talk radio show with opportunities for students to ask questions and get answers.

Super soaker water guns get the kids excited and dazzling lights help make the emotional message of the show all the more memorable.

More than 25 years later, Mothersbaugh continues to offer the program in schools, particularly middle schools, and at kids’ camps, including Camp Cadet in South Williamsport.

“I felt I needed to reach out and talk to kids about this terrible thing that could happen to them,” he said, adding it felt like God’s will. “That was my faith in God. I credit all that to Him.”

The program is free for schools thanks to help from sponsors, Mothersbaugh said.

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