San Antonio hit-and-run crash survivor shares story to encourage road safety

Nicholas Ruiz is back on his feet and back working at Panda Express doing what he loves to do

San Antonio hit-and-run crash survivor shares story to encourage road safety

San Antonio – For the first time since he was nearly killed in a hit-and-run crash, Nicholas Ruiz, 24, is sharing his near-death experience to encourage other to drive safely.

For a while, Nicholas Ruiz and his family did not think he would ever walk again.

“To me, he was a puzzle because both of his legs were broken,” said Ida Carrasco Ruiz, his mother and caregiver. “His knee and his arm, his pelvis were broken. He had a lacerated kidney and a lot of head trauma.”

Nicholas Ruiz also was in a 37-day coma but he woke up a day before Thanksgiving.

“I thought I feel asleep in my apartment,” he laughed. “The first thing I was thinking was that I was in my apartment looking around and then I was like, ‘Woah. What the heck? Where am I! What happened?”

San Antonio police said as Nicholas Ruiz was trying to cross San Pedro Avenue around 9 p.m. Oct. 19, 2020, he was allegedly hit by Antonio Ruiz, who they said was driving at a high rate of speed.

Nicholas Ruiz said he doesn’t remember much.

“I remember going up the sidewalk, and then pushing the button to cross the street and then crossing the street and then after that it was like black,” he said.

Ida Carrasco Ruiz said she loves the fact that her son is positive but she knows his life will never be the same.

“It is still shocking that he bounced back so quickly,” she said. “He is not the same though. His siblings can see. He just has a lot of emotional trauma. For the first three months, he couldn’t do anything on his own when he was out of the hospital and rehab. Now, he does have a limp and occasionally his knee will start hurting again.”

They said his hospital bills added up to $1.2 million but, the hospital was able to give him a discount which left their total at $200,000.

They say they have no forgiveness for Coronado at this time.

“Is he sorry? Does it bother him? Does it keep him up at night? But then I think of his mother and thank god she picked up the phone and turned him in,” Ida Carrasco Ruiz said. “I just try to remember that he could have done worst.”

Nicholas said he hopes his story inspires others to drive safely and be extra careful on the roads, especially when pedestrians are around.

“With what happened to me, nowadays, even if you press that button and even if it says you can walk, make sure you look both ways still,” Nicholas Ruiz said.

About the Authors:

Japhanie Gray joined 10 News as an anchor in March 2022.

Joe Arredondo is a photojournalist at KSAT 12.