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Daryl Mitchell’s 2001 motorcycle accident did not confine him to a wheelchair.

Daryl Mitchell’s 2001 motorcycle accident did not confine him to a wheelchair.

Daryl Mitchell has an indomitable spirit. He pushed through to make the best of a bad situation — he was paralyzed in a wheelchair after a serious motorcycle accident in 2001.

Despite this, he has been pursuing what is most important to him: a distinguished acting career.

He was riding a Kawasaki Ninja 900 motorcycle.

Mitchell went for a ride on his nephew’s Kawasaki Ninja 900 in the early morning hours of November 10, 2001. He had no idea he would never be the same again.

The Wyandanch native relived the frightening event in a 2002 interview with People. “I galloped away and never returned,” the obstinate actor recounted.

Mitchell was on vacation with his family on Warshaw Island when the disaster occurred. He wasn’t a novice rider, as he owned a Kawasaki Ninja 1100 at home.

He was paralyzed for the rest of his life due to a spinal cord injury.

Mitchell continued his interview with People by recalling a memory he experienced before to the disaster. He remembered getting out of his brother’s Ford Explorer and getting his new gray boots dirty in the sand at a nightclub in Beaufort.

That’s when he discovered Everette’s bike, which belonged to his nephew. Everette had offered him his motorcycle the day before, but he politely declined due to his intoxication. However, on the night in question, Daryl was completely sober. So, he gave it a try.

The next thing in Mitchell’s memory was waking up in the hospital in Charleston.

He had skidded off a gravel-strewn road on Warshaw Island near Beaufort, S.C., and suffered a fractured wrist, punctured lungs, bruised kidneys, and, worst of all, damage to his spinal cord. The injury on his spine left him paralyzed from the chest down.

Took Full Responsibility for the Accident

Mitchell took full responsibility for the accident. He admitted to People that he rode off with no protective gears on a road he didn’t know.

He had been taken to Beaufort Memorial Hospital, and the doctors there were not sure if he would survive the airlift to the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. But Mitchell was a fighter — always had been.

Though he recovered from the wounds, he was paralyzed from the chest down. He had to work through therapy just to put on his sneakers.

Less than a year after the crash, he trained himself to get dressed, drive, shoot pool, and even take a few rounds off at the pistol range.

Oscars Venue Didn’t Have Enough Wheelchair Seatings

Despite the fact that numerous celebrities contacted and came to see Daryl, one name stood out: Denzel Washington.

The Inside Man star stated, “He [Denzel] flew up from Miami to take me to the Mike Tyson-Lennox Lewis fight in his plane.”

Denzel even invited Daryl to the Oscars that year, but the venue was unable to accommodate him due to a lack of wheelchair space. He promised when he returned from the event that he would inform everyone about wheelchairs.

Daryl refused to be slowed down by his wheelchair.

The catastrophe happened nineteen years ago, and the Hollywood veteran delivered on his promise.

He appeared in nearly a dozen television episodes after his injury, including Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Ed, Fear Of The Walking Dead, and NCIS: New Orleans.

Michell — or as the industry lovingly refers to him, Daryl “Chill” — has done an exceptional job depicting his characters in wheelchairs for obvious reasons. For his perseverance, he has received a lot of appreciation from everyone in the profession, including fans and coworkers.

In 2010, he even earned an Image Award for his work in Brothers.

“‘Man, you’re the only black actor on TV in a wheelchair,’ people say when they see me. But it’s not something I’m proud of. Being the lone one is surreal “Mitchell commented in April 2019 as a member of the Representing Disability in Storytelling panel.