Casey Scott, 200 days sober, opens up about the problems that led to his horrifying crash
Apr 1, 2019, 9:30 AM | Updated: 10:56 am
Casey Scott knows exactly the moment he hit rock bottom. How he got there, though, was another story.
He found himself on his back on the side of the road. The sound of sirens blaring around him was the only thing drowning out the screams of the family he’d just crashed into with his truck.
“I didn’t know how I got to this point in my life,” he remembered thinking.
After years of building up a life for himself as a TV personality, he’d given up everything by getting behind the wheel of his vehicle drunk.
At 3:20 p.m. on Sept. 3, 2018, Scott lost control. His car drifted into the other lane and swiped another vehicle, and in the chaos, he rushed through a red light and right into another vehicle. Inside his truck, police would find three open containers of beer and Scott himself, stinking – officers say – of liquor.
The family he crashed into – two parents and their two young children – miraculously survived, but not without serious injuries and emotional trauma.
And Scott, who pleaded guilty to the charges against him in November, would be sentenced to 180 days in jail and a year of probation to ask himself that question over and over again:
How had he gotten to this point in his life?
”Whenever we see Casey, we want to have fun.”
Once, the name Casey Scott was synonymous with a good time.
He was a recognizable face in his home state of Utah, a part of KSL TV’s morning news team, known for being over-the-top; the type of guy who would risk his life just to make the people back home laugh.
Case in point was the moment when, in an early television job, Scott hopped onto the back of a bull and nearly got gored, all for the amusement of the crowds back home.
Disasters like this one, Scott says, were what he was best at.
“If I fail, it’s usually magical, and it’s fun to watch.”
It was the character he was paid to play. Scott says that when he got his first job in entertainment: “I was told: ‘Whenever we see Casey, whenever we hear Casey, we want to have fun.’”
But the more he played that character, he says, the more it started seeping into his life after he’d clocked out of work. Scott had built a name for himself as the fun guy. He didn’t want to let down anybody who saw him outside.
“They expect me to be happy,” Scott says. “There became this pattern of always being happy, and always wanting to, when people see you, go: ‘Hey, that guy’s fun!’”
“Why can’t you stop for me?”
Scott couldn’t turn it off. Even when he was at home, lying in his bed with his wife, Scott says that she would have to remind him: “You’re not on TV. Quit being funny.”
But he couldn’t stop, or at the very least, he wouldn’t. The rift between him and his wife grew deeper, and soon, she was demanding a divorce and begging him to quit drinking, saying: “Why can’t you stop for me? Why can’t you stop for the kids?”
Even in the darkest moments of their marriage, Scott couldn’t let that “fun guy” image down. When his family went out, he says, he would order them all to act like they were the perfect happy family, no matter how hard things were at home.
Scott’s lifelong drinking habit kept getting worse. He brought two cases of beer to his son’s second birthday, got his first DUI, and ignored every warning his friends and family gave him that he was headed toward disasters. Things got worse and worse, and soon his wife couldn’t take anymore.
She left, and Scott, newly divorced, had nothing but an empty house to go home to – and a case of beer.
“At first you [drink] because you want to get out of that negative space in your head,” Scott says. “And then you go do your job, and then you sit around and go: ‘man’. And before you know it, you’ve got a beer in your hand. And it becomes this vicious cycle.”
That vicious cycle kept spinning and spinning until he slid his car out of its lane and right into a family of four.
“By the graces of God, nobody died,” Scott says. “It’s not to say that nobody was hurt.”
Project Recovery with Casey Scott
As of March 22, 2019, Casey Scott is two hundred days sober.
He’s been on a long path of recovery, thanks in part to the help of clinical psychologist, Dr. Matt Woolley. Now, he wants to help other people stuck in a dark place like the one he was in before his crash.
To that end, the two have paired up to create a new podcast called Project Recovery.
Scott hopes that, for those out there in the dark place he was in before, the show might be a wakeup call.
“I want to be honest and let everybody know what’s going on,” Scott says. “And if this helps, by me sharing it, then that’s exactly what I want to do.”
The podcast tackles every type of addiction, from alcohol to drugs to pornography, and explores other stories of people like Scott as well as his own.
“Whether you’re addicted to alcohol, drugs, social media or pornography- this podcast won’t make you stop,” Scott says. “That’s up to you.”
As Scott says in his own words, he isn’t asking for forgiveness.
“What I’m asking for, if you will allow, is a thought, a prayer, or for you to have a conversation with a loved one who might be suffering. And someday, God willing, I may have a chance to show you the man I’ve always wanted to be,” he says.