Austin Gayne, a Waynesville native who worked as a tow truck driver in Orlando, Florida, is in critical condition after he was badly injured after being hit by car on the side of the road.
A report from Towtruck.net stated that Gayne and a mechanic were on foot in an exit lane working to remove a dump truck from the roadway.
Despite emergency vehicles with lights activated blocking traffic, for unknown reasons, a red ’96 Buick Century traveling westbound entered the exit lane and hit both workers before crashing into the tow truck.
Gayne and the mechanic were taken to the hospital with serious injuries. The driver of the Buick was also taken to the hospital to be treated for minor injuries.
According to friends of the family, Gayne has undergone several surgeries and is in the ICU fighting for his life. The injuries have been described as “life altering.”
Gayne, 25, is a wrecker operator for Johnson’s Wrecker Service in Florida and is a father of three and the sole provider for his family.
Friends and family said they’re taking donations for the family. Contact Adam Hatton with Hatton’s Towing and Recovery in Canton to make a donation to the family. Hatton can be reached at 828-400-4017.
Donations may also be dropped off in person at Hatton’s Towing, located at 287 Main St. in Canton.
In addition, friends have set up a GoFundMe page for Gayne, to help cover the cost of medical bills and the extensive care needed after the hospital.
Gayne is currently in his third of many surgeries and doctors are optimistic for a positive outcome,” Flor Marte posted in the GoFundMe on Thursday. “We ask that you please continue to keep him in your thoughts and prayers.”
To donate to the GoFundMe, visit https://gofund.me/8ebd10a5.