BEREA, Ohio (92.3 The Fan) – Myles Garrett is thankful to be alive.
Monday’s accident that saw Garrett swerve off a road, strike a fire hydrant and roll over multiple times while driving his Porsche has put life in perspective for the All-Pro defensive end.
“Definitely grateful to be here with what I saw,” Garrett said. “The pictures, I think it was a hell of an event and just grateful that not only am I alive, I was able to have so much of my family and the support system that was around me and just keep me locked in and keep me focused on taking it day-by-day.”
Those photos showed Garrett’s grey Porsche totaled. Airbags deployed, front and back windshields shattered.
He was lucky to walk away.
“I definitely feel like I had a guardian angel,” Garrett said. “It was a very well-built car and I'll miss it. I loved that car. But I had a family member recently pass away who I know is watching over me and just joined his wife. I know that they are very happy to see me come out of that car and be able to walk under my own power. It's just a blessing to have them watching over me now and being able to watch every game and I know they had something to do with us being able to get out of that car as safe and as healthy as we did.”
Garrett suffered a sprained left shoulder, right biceps strain as well as other cuts and bumps and bruises.
It could’ve been much, much worse.
Garrett’s passenger, identified by investigators as 23-year-old Yiana Tjotjos of Rocky River, also escaped serious injury.
“That was a big sigh of relief for me because I was the one who put us in danger,” Garrett said. “So it was very calming for me to know that they were okay.”
As he spoke Friday afternoon, bruising on his face could be seen along with his left eye being red from a popped blood vessel, but his vision remains unaffected.
He’s doing his best to move forward.
“I think emotionally I'm pretty grounded with everything, I've put it behind me,” Garrett said. “Physically I'm still dealing with some of the injuries that came along with it but it's really just a blur, it all happened pretty fast.”
Garrett, who told investigators he thought he was going 65 miles per hour in the 45 zone before the crash, was cited for failure to control by the Ohio State Highway Patrol. Although he wasn’t cited for speeding, investigators noted that speed was a factor in the accident.
“I'd like to thank the Ohio Highway Patrol, I'd like to thank the Medina County Sheriff's Office, I'd like to thank all the first responders that were able to get to me and my passenger and came so quickly and help us get the medical attention that we needed,” Garrett said.
Garrett has a history of moving violations in northeast Ohio.
Monday’s citation is the seventh known one he’s received since 2017.
“I think this will be definitely a wake-up call for me,” Garrett said. “Just try to be smart overall with driving. Don’t take for granted. Be grateful that I’m still able to be here and just take my time.”
The other six violations have been for speeding – two of those were plead down to lesser offenses for taillight and muffler violations in 2018 but still cost Garrett $675.00 in fines and court costs.
In October 2019 Garrett paid $320.00 after being pulled over by the Highway Patrol in Cleveland.
In May 2020, Garrett was stopped by Summit County sheriff’s deputies in Akron for speeding, and he later paid a $150 fine and was charged two points on his license.
Garrett was pulled over on consecutive days in September 2021 for traveling 120 and 105 miles per hour in a 70 zone. The second speeding charge was amended to 99 miles per hour saving him two points on his license. The two violations still cost Garrett six points on his license and another $554.00 in fines and court costs.
“I don’t think it takes something as drastic as this to tell me that I need to slow down,” Garrett said. “No matter how fast you’re going over the speed limit, there’s a real-life situation and circumstances you put yourself in where you’re not only endangering yourself but someone else, so this a definitely a call to me be more safe in my driving and pay attention to my speed and to my surroundings.”