YUBA COUNTY (CBS13) — A motorcyclist’s text message to his girlfriend sent her on a race to rescue him after he came face-to-face with a gravel truck that ran him off the road.
“In a split-second,” said Rose Galen, “He’ll never walk again.”
On Wednesday morning, just 20 minutes after her boyfriend left for his mechanic job on his motorcycle, Galen got a text from him.
It said two unforgettable words: “Crash 911.”
She texted him back asking if he’d been in a crash. When he didn’t respond right away, she knew the answer.
“And I’m on my way out the door to go find him,” Galen said.
Before she left, she had her son call 911. Then a second text came from Tim, saying he’d been in a crash and landed on the side of the road.
“And then the signal goes down dead, and I’m driving, and I go, ‘OK, I know his route, I’m just going to start driving,’” she said.
Minutes into her search for him, her phone rings.
“He says, ‘You need to hurry. You need to hurry. I can’t feel my legs,’” she said.
The couple stayed on the phone together.
He told her he crashed while trying to avoid a gravel truck that had taken a curve on his side of the road.
An hour after the accident, she found him before emergency crews arrived. He suffered broken bones and a severed spine, leaving him paralyzed from the chest down.
Normally Tim would have put his phone on his motorcycle, but that morning he put it in his pocket. Because of that, he was able to reach his phone. Otherwise, he may have spent hours on Hammonton-Smartville Road waiting for help.
The couple wants the driver of the gravel truck to know he changed not only a man’s life forever, but the lives of several others as well.
“I just lay there in bed and think about all the stuff the can’t do anymore,” she said.
Tim’s 10-year-old son doesn’t understand why his dad will never walk again.
Despite his injuries, Tim is in good spirits and is expected to be released from the hospital next week, says Rose. From there, he will go into rehab, learning how to live the rest of his life in a wheelchair.