Larry Sprinkle is a Charlotte legend. Thursday marks the one year anniversary of a car crash that changed his life, and kept him off-air for months.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Larry Sprinkle has been a staple of Charlotte mornings for years. Many of you rely on Sprinkle for your forecast as you head out the door.
But last year, for the first time in decades, he disappeared from local TV screens.
“I remember it started off as any other day here at the station,” Sprinkle said.
And it was the day that changed his life forever.
Sprinkle was driving along I-485 when he had what he calls a "black-out moment."
He shared the never-seen-before photos of his car after the crash. Firefighters had to cut the car apart to reach Sprinkle.
“It could’ve been a lot worse when you look at the car and the extent of the damage,” he said.
But he’s downplaying it. Sprinkle broke both legs, a knee, a wrist and fractured several ribs. He was in the hospital and physical therapy for months. At certain points, he worried he'd never return to TV.
“There were periods of time,” Sprinkle said. “I'm in a wheelchair, I can't walk, and I really thought am I ever gonna be back?”
NBC Charlotte cameras followed Sprinkle’s recovery all the way. It was grueling.
He says it was the viewers who helped him through it. He received an outpouring of support and mail from NBC Charlotte viewers. Sprinkle got choked up just thinking about it.
A year later he still gets choked up thinking about it. Sprinkle says he might not be back at 100 percent physically, but he's 100 percent thankful.
In October, he returned to forecasting the weather and most importantly, connecting with the viewers, his loyal fans.
“That's why I'm here today,” Sprinkle said. “Every bit of that is what got me back on my feet. And that's why I walk into work every day.”
A Charlotte legend who's been around for decades now has a new appreciation for life.