MILLER PLACE - A hit-and-run survivor from Miller Place shared his near-death experience Tuesday with students at Mattituck High School to inspire them to never give up.

Robert Aliano almost died in 2008 when he was mowed down by a hit-and-run driver while walking home after a night of drinking. Aliano was a senior at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut at the time of the crash.

Aliano's mother, Lori, says doctors didn't believe there was any hope for him. Aliano suffered severe head trauma as well as punctured lungs and crushed vocal chords. He was in a coma for eight months.

Aliano told the students how he was given a second chance in life. He even went from using a wheelchair to walking again, something he credits his karate teacher with helping him do.

"It's amazing from the day when his father wheeled him in to now, where he is a functioning human being," says Jerry Figgiani, of East Coast Black Belt Academy.

Aliano, who is now a brown belt, hopes his message will help save lives and encourage others to make good decisions.