Kevin Hart publicly addressed his fans for the first time since his shock car crash as he attended the People’s Choice Awards in Los Angeles last night.
The US comedian was forced to undergo emergency back surgery after suffering three spinal fractures when his car crashed into a ditch in Malibu last September.
While doctors believe that Hart’s recovery could take up to a year and he won’t return to work until 2020, he thanked fans in an emotional speech at the ceremony.
Accepting the award for best Comedy Act of 2019 from Robert Downey Jr, Hart said: “First and foremost, thank God, because I definitely don’t have to be here.
“Being that I am, it makes me appreciate life even more. It makes me appreciate the things that really matter… family. I want to thank my wife, my kids, who really stepped up to the plate for me.”
“I truly want to thank you guys for being there for at my difficult time,” Hart told his fans.
The actor had been in a vintage Plymouth Barracuda he purchased for his 40th birthday alongside two other people when the car veered off the highway and ended up about 10 feet off the road.
He was in his car with 31-year-old Rebecca Broxterman and the pair were well enough to reach his home nearby for medical attention.
However, the comedian and driver Jared Black, 28, both suffered major injuries and were later taken to hospital.
In the wake of the injury, Hart kept fans updated on his progress in an emotional Instagram video.
“After my accident I see things differently, I see life from a whole new perspective. My appreciation for life is through the roof. I’m thankful for my family, my friends,” he said.
“Don’t take today for granted, because tomorrow’s not promised. More importantly, I’m thankful for God, I’m thankful for life. I’m thankful for simply still being here.”