Texas Firefighter Responds to Call, Saves Own Family
"There was nothing left of that car," Aaron Van Riper said.
— -- A Texas volunteer firefighter responded to a head-on collision, only to discover his wife and son had been in the mangled car.
Aaron Van Riper’s family was in a head-on crash with an oncoming pickup truck near Riverside, Texas on Saturday, according to ABC affiliate KTRK.
“It’s my family. My wife was laying there on the ground. [By] the look of the car, I don’t know how either one of them lived. There was nothing left of that car,” said Van Riper, the assistant fire chief at the Thomas Lake Road Volunteer Fire Department told KTRK.
Van Riper’s wife, Amber, suffered a broken pelvis — fractured in five places — and their 7-year-old son suffered a broken leg and arm, according to KTRK.
Amber was ejected from the car in the crash, while their son was still pinned inside.
“Once I saw my son … I started going into a little bit of a panic mode,” Aaron told KTRK.
Aaron’s training and skills paid off and his wife and son were transported by helicopter to Memorial Herman Hospital in Houston.
Aaron told KTRK that Amber was in surgery for nine hours on Sunday. "She gave a thumbs-up to the doctor, but that's the first time she showed signs of anything," Aaron added.
Amber works full-time as a graphic designer, however the family doesn’t have medical insurance. Family friends set up a GoFundMe account for the family with a goal of raising $50,000 to cover their projected medical costs.
Amber and her son are both expected to temporarily be in wheelchairs while they recover from their injuries, according to the GoFundMe page.