SXSW crash victim taking first steps at graduation

AUSTIN (KXAN) -Like every high school senior, Mason Endres has been looking forward to graduation day.

“It’s pretty exciting,” said Endres.

There was never any doubt the 18-year-old would earn her diploma from Liberty Hill High School, there was just uncertainty about how she would get it.

“We weren’t sure if it I was going to be in a wheelchair or on crutches or walking,” said Endres.

Mason is still recovering from numerous injuries after she was hit by a suspected drunk driver police say plowed through a crowd during South by Southwest. She suffered a broken leg, fractured vertebrae, a severed artery and has more knee surgeries ahead.

Last week doctors gave Mason the green light to take a few steps without her crutches.

“Honestly I probably would’ve done it whether he said I could or not so,” said Endres.

“It was the goal, you know,” said Dan, Mason’s dad. “She had steps from the night she was hit until today. It was steps and this was the next big one.”

It’s a symbol to me at least of her healing,” said May, Mason’s mom.

Mason will walk about ten yards across the stadium turf Friday night.

Liberty Hill High School stadium
Liberty Hill High School stadium

“It could be really different. The fact that I couldn’t even be here right now is really weird to think about,” said Mason. “It’s really, it’s really special.”

The same field where classmates recently gave her a night to remember during the powder puff football game.

“The last play of the game they wheeled her out, put the ball in her lap and the kids made a power tunnel and pushed her all the way down the field for a touchdown,” said Liberty Hill High School Principal, Bobby Mabry. “It was really, really cool.”

Mason is not slowing down. She will attend freshman orientation at the University of Texas next week and plans to major in public relations.

Her parents recently purchased a scooter for her to get around campus easier. She calls it the “power scooter,” and fully expects friends to try to bum rides.

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