BARSTOW, Ca. – As a mother sits by her son’s side, taking in all that will never be the same in his life, possibly because of a drunk driver; a Facebook group administrator messages her with harsh words.
The woman, who asked to remain nameless said that her son, Gabriel has been riding dirt bikes since he was only 4 years old. Dirt bike riding was Gabriel’s true love and on September 24, 2019, while test running for an upcoming race, the unthinkable happened. Greig Avencio Garcia, 44, was driving a Razor All-terrain vehicle when the two collided. A whirlwind of emotions surfaced as Gabriel, barely an adult at only 19-years-old, was airlifted from the scene in the 2800 block of Powerline Road near Highway 247 in the City of Barstow.
When he arrived at the Loma Linda University Medical Center he held on to life as he was rushed into emergency surgery to complete any repairs to his badly injured body. In all, Gabriel suffered from 32 fractures, had his right foot amputated, and has lost all function to the right side of his body. Seven surgeries and less than two weeks later, she stays by her son’s side. “My boy is only 19 yrs old his whole life ahead of him’ in the blink of an eye his quality of life was taken away, while doing something he loved,” she explained.
Garcia was arrested on suspicion of DUI and she said that the District Attorney’s office is looking into other charges resulting from her son’s extensive injuries. Garcia was arrested at the scene but was released and was, according to witnesses, at a local bar the Friday following the accident. She said that a family member trying to take some of the financial strain off of her and Gabriel’s father posted a fundraiser on the Facebook group, Barstow Rants and Raves. The post was deleted by group admin, Angel Sanchez. She said that after the post was deleted she messaged him to ask him why it was deleted. When he did not reply, she reposted it thinking that maybe the deletion was a mistake.
Soon after, she got a message from Sanchez explaining that her post was against the group rules, although she said she did not know since there were multiple other fundraising posts on the group. She went on to mention two other fundraising posts and Sanchez said that her son’s accident was not his problem or anyone else’s. “Insurance, Aflac, get ahead,” he sent her in a message. “Not other people’s problem to fix, your mistake of not having proper insurance. Sorry, it’s crass but the truth always hurts.” she said that they do have proper insurance, but family was attempting to reach out for any uncovered expenses resulting from the DUI collision.
She questioned Garcia having any compassion. “I have a heart and compassion, but it shouldn’t be other people’s money to fund your mistake of not being prepared,” he explained. “I bet you smoke, I bet you drink, let’s see if you give up any of those vices to buy the insurance you need for the future.”
The family has since received messages from the family of the other driver, not apologizing, not assuring the distraught mother that they would make sure the driver receives help for his drinking, but to explain how a post she made her brother “loo”k and how “both” families were impacted by the accident. “Who am I to say anything,” she said I’m just a mom who’s been sleeping at my son’s bedside every night in ICU, while still having other children and life at home.”
At this point, it is still unclear if Greig Avencio Garcia allegedly being under the influence was a factor in the collision at this time.
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