By Sharna Johnson: Freedom New Mexico
A Clovis man was flown to a Lubbock hospital early Friday morning after an SUV crashed into his bedroom while he was sleeping.
Michael Gallegos, 57, is in stable condition, family members
said. Injuries included a fractured vertebrae, a collapsed lung and a
fractured eye socket.
Paul Apodaca Jr., 33, the driver of the vehicle, is charged with
causing great bodily injury with a vehicle, aggravated DWI, leaving the
scene of a crash with great bodily injury, two counts of criminal
damage over $1,000 and one count of criminal damage under $1,000.
In addition he received citations for possession of marijuana
under 1 ounce, reckless driving, driving on a suspended license, an
open container violation, no vehicle insurance and expired vehicle
registration, police said.
Bond has not yet been set, jail officials said.
Police said neighbors heard the crash just before 2 a.m. and reported seeing Apodaca staggering away from the scene on foot.
If convicted on all charges, Apodaca faces around 7 years
imprisonment and up to $5,000 fines, District Attorney Matt Chandler
Early Friday evening by phone from the hospital in Lubbock,
Richard Gallegos said his uncle was improving. Gallegos had been taken
off a respirator and had woken briefly.
“He spoke to us. He didn’t know what happened. He asked what day it was,” he said.
“We’re asking everybody just to pray and the prayers are being answered. It’s just amazing that he’s alive.”
Robert Gutierrez said his brother-in-law suffered multiple
injuries including a broken back, dislocated eye, fractured skull and
Friday morning, a group of Gallegos family members were at his
home cleaning up his east-corner bedroom. A gaping hole marked the
point of impact, his bed hidden under a pile of rubble.
The crash occurred around 2 a.m. A white Ford SUV veered from
the roadway on Ceasar Chavez Drive, going over the sidewalk, striking a
neighbor’s mail box and the corner of their garage before crashing into
Gallegos’ bedroom, Gutierrez said, pointing out the path.
Gallegos was thrown from his bed and into the wall in the hallway outside his room.
As family members carried blood-stained pillows and remnants of
shattered furniture to a waiting pickup truck, Daniel Gallegos said his
brother will likely have multiple surgeries before doctors are sure of