THE COLONY, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – A North Texas man is sharing his story about a life-changing moment 20 years ago next week.
John Comstock was among the 27 Texas A&M students injured when a stack of logs for an annual bonfire collapsed on campus, killing 12.
About 20 theaters in North Texas will be showing a new documentary starting Friday about the bonfire collapse and featuring Comstock, who was the last survivor pulled from the rubble.
It was a towering symbol of student ingenuity and and school pride.
The 90-year tradition of the Texas A&M bonfire ended suddenly on November 18, 1999 when the six-story stack of logs collapsed.
Comstock was among 58 students building it.
“I hit the ground and I was maybe knocked out for a few seconds,” he said.
The then-19-year-old freshman was pinned in the rubble for seven-and-a-half hours.
“I was awake and conscious over the whole seven-and-a-half hours, so I remember everything,” Comstock said.
His story is the focus of “The 13th Man,” a film that takes a look back at the bonfire collapse as well as Comstock’s journey to recover after losing a leg and being partially paralyzed.
“I’m really hoping my story can motivate and inspire people to overcome the struggles in their life,” said Comstock.
Now 39-years-old, Comstock recently married and is raising a son.
He returned to A&M and got his degree in 2010.
A life that came so close to ending early is now thriving.
“It’s been a difficult journey no doubt about it. I’m truly honored that my stories been highlighted along with the 12 Aggies who died.”
Texas A&M canceled the traditional bonfire after the collapse.
But since 2002 students have have organized an off-campus bonfire.