Search continues for hit and run driver who struck Fil-Am college student

By Rommel Conclara, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

July 2, 2014

SAN JOSE, Calif. – Fil-Am John Paul Garcia, 26, is still in critical condition after a hit and run last week.

At approximately 9:45 p.m. last Wednesday, John Paul was coming back home from getting ice cream for his nephew when he was struck by what police believe was a black sedan.

Because of major injuries, doctors initially feared he could be paralyzed for the rest of his life.

However his family can now breathe a sigh of relief because in the last few days John Paul’s health has been improving and after a major operation that involved a knee replacement and an open reduction on his left leg doctors say he could walk again.

“Knowing that he’ll be able to walk again helped us to move along and deal with the situation,” said Lorna Garcia, John Paul’s sister.

John Paul’s mother, Myrna Garcia, drove by the accident on her way to work and had no idea that it was her son lying in the street.

Upon returning home and receiving the news that John Paul did not come home the night before, she feared the accident she saw involved her son.

“Me and my husband drove right away to the hospital,” said Myrna. “True enough my son was in the ICU. My expectation was I thought we were going to see him in the morgue because the way I look at the situation he’s already flat on the street. I’m so thankful to the Lord that he is alive.”

John Paul was a block away from his home and made it more than half way through this intersection when he was struck in the middle lane sending his body at least 20 feet pass the crosswalk.

For now authorities are still trying to look for the driver that struck John Paul and fled.

“I’ve been trying to contact the police on multiple occasions, the San Jose Police Department,” said Lorna. “I believe my mom and my husband has been trying to get the report but we haven’t heard from them which is a little disheartening and disappointing but we’re just going to keep trying.”

The thought of the driver still out there still haunts John Paul’s father, Loreto Garcia.

“Whoever the driver of that car, who left my son on the street lying down unconscious, it hurts me up to now,” said Loreto “Because just like my daughter said, the police do not have any improvement at all and I’m still looking, searching for the man.”

While the family continues to pray for John Paul’s recovery they say they are thankful for the continued support from the community.

We’re really thankful and grateful,” said Lorna. “We’ve had offers for donations from people we don’t even know and we don’t even ask for anything which is fantastic and we appreciate that. We appreciate all the prayers.”

His family is still offering a $2,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest of the driver.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call the San Jose Police Department at (408) 947-STOP.

You can contact Rommel Conclara at rommel_conclara@abs-cbn.com for more information.

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