Note: In an earlier version of this story it was reported that Jeffrey Smith had served as a U.S. Navy SEAL. His family requested Wednesday night that all references to SEAL service be removed.
California truck driver Jeffrey Smith remains in critical condition Wednesday night following a severe accident he had last month in Redding.
Smith, 57, had been driving southbound on Interstate 5 on Aug. 20 around 10 p.m. when his rig went off the road, struck a guardrail and burst into flames.
Even with a broken femur, dislocated hip and burns over nearly half his body, Smith, a father of three, escaped from the burning semi and called 911. He managed to remain conscious and provided vital information to first responders before being taken to the hospital.
But recovery hasn’t been easy. While undergoing treatment at the burn center at U.C. Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, Smith suffered a stroke, according to redding.com.
Hard Working Trucks contacted the hospital tonight and learned that Smith is still in critical condition.
Smith’s son, Joseph Smith, said his father’s making progress but his recovery will probably take about a year and meanwhile his hospital bills are stacking up.
As of Wednesday night, a gofundme account online has raised $18,225 of a $150,000 goal.
Smith, an owner-operator, lives in Shingletown, Calif. and drives for RLT Trucking in Redding. As part of National Truck Driver Appreciation Week, RLT has set up a fundraiser for Smith.
RLT will be hosting BBQ lunches all week long in honor of truck drivers and hopes to sell plenty of raffle tickets to help with Smith’s medical expenses.