Family: Dad who survived head-on crash on Beltway 8 has long recovery ahead


by Larry Seward / KHOU 11 News

Posted on November 30, 2011 at 6:37 PM

HOUSTON—He survived a head-on crash on Beltway 8 Tuesday morning. A day later, a Houston man is worried only about his father.

Freddy Gutierrez hurts all over.

"(I hurt) in my ribs, my upper back and my (left) knee," Gutierrez said. 

However, since emerging from his father’s crumpled pick-up, Gutierrez’s deepest pain is not knowing.

"I’m just worried about my dad right now," he said.

Magdaleno Gutierrez cannot feel his legs, his children said. Both legs are broken in three places.  Magdaleno has three cracked vertebrate. Given a 50-50 chance of ever walking again, Magdaleno’s ability to support his family is anything but certain.

"We try not to cry because in the condition he’s in right now, you’re like wow," said Gladys Gutierrez, Magdaleno’s daughter. "It’s really hard. You see him and it just breaks your heart."

Early Tuesday morning, as Magdaleno drove his son Freddy to work, Precinct 5 deputy constables saw a car speeding the wrong way on the beltway near 290. For 10 minutes, they tried stopping the car driven by Robert Bell, 30. However, at 80 miles an hour, Bell’s car smashed head-on into Magdaleno’s pick-up.

"When we hit, I was just looking at my dad," Freddy Gutierrez said. "He was in a lot of pain. I was telling him to calm down. He told me his legs were hurting and his back."

Worried about his father, Freddy remembered an old family saying he hopes everyone else respects.

"Enjoy what you’ve got right now because you don’t know what (will) happen," he said.

Investigators still do not know why Bell was driving the wrong way. Whatever happens next for the Gutierrez family, they hope it is less painful.