Suspected drunk driver plows BMW into Porterville man, severs both his legs

Saturday, April 13, 2019
Suspected drunk driver plows BMW into Porterville man, severs his legs
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HORRIFYING: The BMW plowed into 34-year-old Geronimo Gonzalez, severing both of his legs and sending him flying into the air. And it could have been even worse.

TULARE COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- Surveillance video shows the moment an accused drunk driver blew a stop sign and barreled down a private dirt path in Porterville early on Monday morning.

But the video doesn't capture what happened next.

The BMW plowed into a parked truck and its owner, 34-year-old Geronimo Gonzalez, who was standing next to it, severing both of his legs and sending him flying into the air.

It could have been worse.

The driver scraped a propane tank next to a home but fortunately, didn't hit it head-on.

Annette Riaubia, the victim's landlord, whose camera captured the incident, said, "He just flew into my driveway, straight to the back, and that's all you see is just a blaze of light and smoke, and that's that."

"The tenant in the back house - she was a mess," Riaubia added. "She was bawling hysterically, saying, 'Oh my gosh, they hit him, they hit him.' The poor guy was just laid out in the bushes, still conscious, kind of alert, but definitely in shock."

She saw that one of Gonzalez's legs had been severed.

She then made a gruesome discovery - finding part of his other leg nearby.

She said Gonzalez moved into the middle building 7 or 8 months ago and works for her on her two-acre property.

He has a four-year-old daughter, who was sleeping at the time of the crash.

"We've really gotten close with him, really bonded with him, and there's really nothing that he wouldn't do for us, or us for him. So we're really, really upset about this whole thing," said Riaubia.

The California Highway Patrol said the driver of the BMW, 22-year-old Mohamed Mohamed, ran from the scene, but he was caught hiding in his home nearby.

The CHP said alcohol appears to have been involved in the crash.

While Mohamed walked away with just minor injuries, Gonzalez was flown to Fresno, where he's already undergone several surgeries and is in critical condition.

Mohamed was charged with a DUI in Kern County just last month, and has received four traffic tickets in Tulare County since the summer of 2017.

On Friday, he was found hiding at his home behind a gas station, just a block away from the crash site.

Family members who work at the gas station said Mohamed is "dumb" for what he did and deserves to be punished.