AP

Always wanted to ‘hit the gas’: Blind Michigan judge drives

Aug 25, 2022, 12:32 AM | Updated: Aug 26, 2022, 4:09 am

In this image from video provided by WNEM-TV, Michigan Supreme Court Justice Richard Bernstein, who...

In this image from video provided by WNEM-TV, Michigan Supreme Court Justice Richard Bernstein, who is blind, gets into a car to drive for the first time at the Genesee County fairgrounds in Mt. Morris, Mich., on Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2022. Sheriff Chris Swanson, rear, rode in the passenger seat and gave instructions. (WNEM-TV via AP)

(WNEM-TV via AP)

MT. MORRIS, Mich. (AP) — A blind Michigan judge went for a drive and a sheriff rode shotgun.

As 100 people watched, Richard Bernstein of the Michigan Supreme Court drove a car on a dirt track Tuesday at the Genesee County fairgrounds, northwest of Flint.

“I’ve always wanted that feeling of what it’s like to hit the gas or what it’s like to turn on the ignition and what it’s like to operate a steering wheel,” Bernstein, 47, told WNEM-TV.

Sheriff Chris Swanson was in the passenger seat giving directions and encouragement. They wore helmets.

“Straighten it out. Soft left, soft left,” Swanson said. “He’s doin’ it!”

Bernstein, who is seeking reelection in November, doesn’t let blindness discourage him from certain goals. He’s run more than 20 marathons.

“My whole life, I’ve loved making people’s dreams come true,” the sheriff said. “I love seeing joy on the face, and I have seen it the last two hours driving him up here.”

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Always wanted to ‘hit the gas’: Blind Michigan judge drives