Witness recounts aiding victims of 1174 wreck

BY CHRISTI BERTELSON/BURNET BULLETIN

 

A father and son are still recovering after their truck rolled on 1174 leaving both critically injured on the morning of Sunday, Sept. 18.

Shawn Lingo, 30, and son James Spiller, 11, were traveling North on FM 1174 not far from home when the truck Lingo was driving rolled, ejecting both passengers from the vehicle.

Alex Saenz, 45, of Ft. Hood was traveling on FM 1174 to Lago Vista when he drove up on the scene.

 “I was in total shock when I noticed exactly what had happened. I had never been in a situation like that. All i could do was call for help and try to control James' bleeding and to settle him down as he wanted to get up/sit up and was in horrible pain,” said Saenz.

“All I could think of was my own son being in that situation. James had no idea what his head injury was like. Another gentleman who had stopped as well gave me a roll of shop towels and it’s all I had to try and help James' bleeding head and comfort him until help arrived,”

Saenz who is originally from the Irving area is stationed in Ft. Hood where he is serving his 20th year in the United States Army as a Staff Sergeant specializing in satellite communications.

“I have not been in contact with the family and with everything they have been through I doubt if they even remember me. I do not feel like I did anything special,” said Saenz.

“Being a complete stranger I didn’t want to intrude on their healing process, but they are in my thoughts and prayers,”

Updates from a Go Fund me account set up by Patsy Stephens, said the wife of Lingo received the call about the wreck and both husband and son had sustained life threatening and critical injuries.

“Rachel received a call no mother or wife ever wants to get,” said Stephens, Rachel’s sister, on the go fund me page.

The site stated Spiller was evacuated by helicopter to Dell’s Children’s Hospital in Austin where he was given multiple blood transfusions due to internal bleeding and a clean out procedure.

Lingo was transported by EMS to Seton Medical Center of Williamson in Round Rock where he went through back surgery to repair three broken vertebrae’s and remove bone from his spinal cord.

Stephens update the Go Fund me website on Friday, Sept. 23 saying Lingo’s back surgery had went well and he had been moved to a different floor to begin physical therapy.

“As for James, he did not show injury to his neck, but does have three vertebrae that are either fractured or smashed together,” said Stephens.

“We are still waiting on results from a new scan,”

Stephens also said doctors were still monitoring Spillers scalp, as it was severely damaged from the wreck and not all of it was located to be put back in place.

“He has already had a plastic surgery procedure done for temporary purposes while they monitor if the pieces are still vital but he will need several more surgeries,” said Stephens.

Lingo, who works for UA Local 286 Plumbers and Pipefitters out of Austin, had been the fourth generation in the company, according to Chap Thorton, Business agent for the 286 office.

 “We are so sorry for the  unfortunate accident and ee are all thinking of him and wish him the best, they are all in our prayers,” said Thorton.

“Our business manager has already visited with Rachel and the family and if there is anything their brothers and sister members of the Union can do for them we will be there,”

While the Go Fund me site has raised $2,190 in six days, the goal of $5,000 has still yet to be reached to help the family with monthly bill payments since Lingo does not have paid time off with the Union and Rachel is a stay at home mother, according to Stephens.

“The Lingo’s also have three young daughters  Natalie, Cheyenne and Lacy Mae, that are in the care of their grandparents, while Rachel tends to Shawn and James,” said Stephens.

“I have already witnessed some amazing support from their family and friends, and they feel truly blessed, and are so very thankful,”

“We all thank you for your support, and may God bless you.” said Stephens.

Burnet Fire and EMS Department were contacted but had no comment on the incident.

To donate to the Lingo-Spiller family, please go to https://www.gofundme.com/LingoSpillerfamily.

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