Donations are pouring in to an online fund started to help a Livingston County father of five whose legs were severed when an SUV crashed into him as he tried to push another motorist's disabled vehicle off the road early this week.
Christopher Alvarado, 36, the owner of the Hartland Township Mexican Fiesta restaurant, remained hospitalized in critical condition Wednesday at the University of Michigan Hospital, a hospital spokeswoman said.
Livingston County sheriff’s officials said the Howell man was struck by a 2014 Honda CR-V while he pushed a disabled 2006 Buick LaCrosse into a Subway parking lot on Grand River Avenue after it had run out of gas. The LaCrosse driver, identified as Kasey Smith, 24, of Fowlerville, and her 2-month-old infant were not injured in the crash.
A GoFundMe account had raised $53,073 toward at $60,000 goal as of 10 a.m. today.
"Chris has 5 children, plus another on the way and the full financial impact of this accident is going to be enormous,"Amanda Marie Enriquez, the organizer of the fund-raiser and Alvarado's step-cousin. said in the post. "As a small business owner, his family is going to need some help in the near and probably distant future. Funds raised will go to support Chris’s with any current and future costs relating to his care and his family’s expenses."
In an update posted today, Enriquez said Alvarado was scheduled to undergo surgery this morning.
"We do ask that the praying community lifts up the young woman that Chris was helping at the time of the accident," Enriquez said. "She contacted me this morning and is devastated. The Alvarado family does not blame her in any way -- people need help sometimes, and Chris would have helped anyone in need. Please pray for Kasey. She needs love and support more than ever.
"The gentleman that hit Chris is also having a hard time, and he needs your prayers as well. The Alvarado family feels no ill-will towards anyone involved and ask that you continue to pray."
Enriquez told the Livingston Press that helping comes natural to her cousin.
“No one is surprised that he was helping someone,” Enriquez said. “That’s the kind of person he is.”
Police identified the The Honda driver was distraught and cooperating with police,
Police identified the Honda CR-V as a 77-year-old Genoa Township resident. He is cooperating with police and has not been charged, Sheriff-elect Michael Murphy said.
Murphy said the department would submit a report to the prosecutor’s office for review. The prosecutor’s office does not speculate on whether it will authorize charges.
Murphy said the Honda driver indicated that he “didn’t see” the stopped vehicle or the man pushing the car.
Alvardo, whose fiancé is expecting the couple’s sixth child, is the owner of the Hartland Township Mexican Fiesta. His grandparents started the original Mexican Fiesta in Dearborn Heights and expanded to Hartland about five years ago.