A tow truck driver has a long road to recovery after being struck by a speeding driver while responding to a crash outside Beaumont over the weekend, officials said Tuesday.
Enrique Ramirez Sanchez, a 49-year-old Banning man, was called to the scene of a solo-vehicle rollover crash on Highway 79 just before 10 a.m. Sunday, the California Highway Patrol said in a news release.
The driver of the overturned car was unhurt, officers said. Sanchez parked his Statewide Towing truck on the shoulder south of California Avenue and got out to start hooking up the wrecked vehicle.
That’s when a 29-year-old Riverside woman headed south on the highway lost control of her white Toyota Corolla and veered into a concrete median wall. She then ricocheted across the lanes and into the opposite shoulder, hitting Sanchez and his truck, according to CHP.
Sanchez was hospitalized with major injuries.
Both highway lanes were closed nearly 2 hours while authorities investigated.
Officers determined the woman was traveling at an unsafe speed on the wet roadway. They don’t believe alcohol or drugs played a role.
The Banning Police Officers Association has set up a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for Sanchez.
“Enrique is a wonderful person and top notch driver!” officers wrote on the page. “Anyone who’s ever had the pleasure of working with or knowing him for any length of time knows he is kind, helpful, and hardworking.”
As of Tuesday, Sanchez was stable after undergoing multiple surgeries in attempt to repair and save his legs. He’ll still have to “endure several additional surgeries,” according to the GoFundMe.