A Texas firefighter responded to a call about a car accident Saturday. When he arrived at the scene, he found his wife and his 7-year-old son in critical condition.
The car crash took place on Lakeland Road near Riverside, according to the Department of Public Safety. But this was no ordinary day on the job for Aaron Van Riper, Assistant Chief for the Thomas Lake Fire Department, who would make a startling discovery at the scene of the accident.
"It's my family. My wife was laying there on the ground,” Van Riper told KTRK (video interview below). “(By) the look of the car, I don't know how either one of them lived. There was nothing left of that car."
Van Riper’s family had collided with an oncoming pickup truck. Investigators have not yet determined what caused the crash, KTRK reported.
His wife, Amber, was ejected from the vehicle while his son, Jonathan, was pinned inside. The Huntsville Fire Department was able to get the boy out of the wreckage and both victims were rushed to Memorial Hermann hospital by LifeFlight.
“The looks of that car, the fact that they are alive, is a feat,” said Van Riper, adding that he began to panic when he saw his son in the vehicle. “God has some amazing things for them I'm guessin (sic).”
Amber spent nine hours in surgery on Sunday to repair her pelvis, which was broken in five places. Jonathan suffered a broken arm and leg and also underwent surgery.
Mandy Kibby, a family friend, set up a GoFundMe page for the family to help pay for their mounting medical bills. The family does not have insurance and Van Riper will have to take off from work to take care of his wife and son, who are both expected to be in wheelchairs temporarily until they recover.
So far, the GoFundMe page has raised more than $19,485. Kibby recently posted an update on the condition of Amber and her son, who the couple nicknamed “Bear.”
I did not take the picture of Bear when he told me that he did not get to see his mommy yet.. (sic) She is still in Shock/Trauma ICU. I told him that as soon as he could see her that I would take him up there! Poor little fella. They don't understand that the littlest germ could cause more damage than he would like. I told him he was a strong little man like his Mommy and daddy, this is what I got!!!
You can help the Van Riper family by clicking HERE.
Photo Credit: Screenshot from YouTube, GoFundMe