Family, friends set up funds to help two people injured in I-80, 480 crash

Posted at 8:44 PM, Dec 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-06 00:01:42-05

Police say a crash on the I-80 and 480 interchange in Omaha on Saturday left two people terribly maimed. 

34-year-old Hesbeidy Rodriguez and her family were having car trouble after it broke down on the I-80 westbound to I-480 northbound on-ramp.

Rodriguez's husband called his good friend, 28-year-old Miguel Ramirez for assistance. 

"He helped everyone. You didn't have to ask him twice. He was always there," says Esther Moralez, a family friend of Ramirez. 

"They called Miguel because he's good with cars. They're both mechanics so they were trying to fix the car on their own," says Moralez. 

But as both families worked on transferring personal items from Rodriguez's car into Ramirez's, a speeding Dodge Durango struck Rodriguez and Ramirez.

"They were standing against the side of the street, and the truck was just coming way too fast. They couldn't react," says Moralez. 

Doctors were forced to amputate both of Ramirez’s legs and one of Rodriguez’s. 

"Miguel had his back to the speeding truck. He wasn't able to jump out of the way - which cost him his legs. If he had been to the side or even saw the truck out of the corner of his eye, he would have jumped out of the way," says Moralez. 

"He's just such a good friend. Always there. He's still always going to be there. And now we're all going to be there for him. He needs us, especially when he wakes up," adds Moralez.

Now Ramirez's soccer league, who often praised Ramirez for his superb goalie skills is working to support Ramirez and his family. 

"We're having two soccer tournaments this weekend so we're going to be selling foods and drinks so all the money raised can be used for Miguel's medical expenses and for whatever his family needs," says Moralez. "We also spoke to the head of the soccer league and we're going to make envelopes with a picture of Miguel and a little note about who he is and his situation and he's going to hand them out to all of the teams so teams can make donations."

The tournaments will take place all day Saturday and Sunday at 40th and Harrison, while the other location will be at 30th and Q. 

The driver of the Dodge Durango also plays in the same soccer league as Ramirez. He's the goalie for the team scheduled to play Ramirez's team on Sunday at 5 p.m. 

"We spoke to the soccer team that they’re going to be playing against this next Sunday – and it’s the guy that caused the accident, he was on their team. On their soccer team. He’s their goalie also," says Moralez. "They agreed to make donations to the families and they will also be having a moment of silence before the game out of respect for Miguel." 

In efforts to raise more funds, family and friends have Ramirez and Rodriguez have also started GoFundMe accounts. If you'd like to donate to their funds, click here or here.