Investigators are still looking for the driver who hit Tulare county fire fighter Pat Hinds as he and his captain responded to a vehicle fire in Alpaugh.
A week after the crash, Hinds remains in serious condition and Saturday, a carwash fundraiser was held to help in his recovery. Captain Gary Gregory said Saturday's carwash was emotional for him.
For the last week he has received hundreds of emails, text messages and calls, people wanting to know the latest on Hinds' condition. Gregory said he was touched to see many of those same people show up to help raise money for hinds' personal expenses.
Word traveled fast about this carwash in Pixley Saturday. Vehicle after vehicle stopped by station 27 to donate money to help injured volunteer firefighter Pat Hinds.
Resident Jeremaiha McIntosh said, "It's a really good thing. But what happened is really sad to hear."
"I would want to do anything I could to help my brother. Cause that's what he is. Pat Hinds is my brother. He's everyone's brother," said resident Keenan Reveles.
One week ago 56-year old Hinds was trying to extinguish an S.U.V. fire, then suddenly the situation took a life and death turn.
"Pat shows up I give him the nozzle and he finishes fire suppression activities and I don't know where the vehicle comes through," said Captain Gary Gregory.
Captain Gary Gregory said a white truck came out of no where.
He was sideswiped; suffering only bruises. Hinds was not so lucky, he was struck head on.
"I yelled at my firefighter to jump. And I jumped one way and he jumped another way. I just got glazed a little bit and at that time with adrenaline running I knew that he got hit hard," Gregory said.
The 35-year-veteran suffered 17 cracked ribs and multiple breaks in both legs…there was also internal bleeding.
Gregory has visited Hinds every day at Community Regional Medical Center since. "I'm in full contact with the nurses. We're not able to talk to him yet but I'm in full contact with the nurses on that floor," said Gregory.
The story of Hinds' fight to recover is on the minds of people all over Tulare County. Those we spoke to want Hinds to know their thoughts are with him.
More than 100 cars passed through Saturday and more than $1,450. Investigators ask that if you have any information regarding the hit and run to call.