SAN ANTONIO – A local company has stepped up to help a family of a Somerset teenager who was badly hurt in a fatal crash blamed on a drunken driver.
Kiolbassa Provision Company on Tuesday donated 50 pounds of sausage to the Gamez family for an upcoming fundraiser that will help them pay for medical expenses that have piled up since the Jan. 26 crash in southwest Bexar County that left Andrea Gamez, 17, with multiple injuries.
"I really want to thank Kiolbassa Provision Company," Cynthia Gamez, Andrea's mother said. "I know you don't even know us, but to call out just like that, it's beautiful."
Harold Heinze, Kiolbassa director of marketing, said the company heard about what the Gamez family was going through and decided to reach out."
"We've had such a good time this afternoon visiting each other and talking about how Andrea is doing in her recovery and how the response has been from the community," Heinze said. "This is a great community. We reach out to folks in need and really want to help out."
Cynthia Gamez said the family has been overwhelmed with donations, including one from Dairy Queen and from the Somerset community.
"I'm just happy to be where we are at right now," Gamez said. "It's not the way it was the first two weeks. I feel we are at the end of the roller coaster ride that we started long ago.
"It was the worst thing in the world. You think living day by day that you face challenges until something like this happens. It was hard seeing my daughter in the condition she was in between her breathing tubes, bleeding internally and the seven surgeries she's endured," Gamez said.
Gamez said although Andrea gets emotional because she was used to being involved in sports and moving around, overall, she is doing great and progressing daily.
The driver of the other car, Heidi Ayala, 57, died at the scene. Bexar County sheriff's officials said they believe Ayala was drunk.
The plate sale is set for Feb. 27 at Somerset High School and was organized by Andrea Gamez's junior classmates.