Tow Truck Driver Thankful to Survive Wrong-Way Crash

Driver injured in crash with wrong-way driver says he now feels younger than ever

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    NEWSLETTERS

    North Texas tow truck driver Rudy Rodriguez talks for the first time about being in the path of a wrong-way driver on Highway 287 in Fort Worth on Monday morning. (Published Tuesday, Feb 28, 2012)

    A driver who survived a wrong-way crash that killed two people in Fort Worth says he saw the other vehicle coming but couldn't change lanes to avoid it.

    Rudy Rodriguez sustained a broken leg when a wrong-way driver collided with his tow truck on U.S. Highway 287 near Riverside Drive shortly after 2 a.m. Monday.

    Victim of Wrong-Way Driver Speaks

    [DFW] Victim of Wrong-Way Driver Speaks
    North Texas tow truck driver Rudy Rodriguez talks for the first time about being in the path of a wrong-way driver on Highway 287 in Fort Worth on Monday morning. (Published Tuesday, Feb 28, 2012)

    The driver, Christopher Brookins, 24; and Eric Jordan, who turned 25 at midnight; were killed in the crash. They had been celebrating Jordan's birthday.

    Rodriguez said he saw the car coming but was blocked on one side by a tractor-trailer and on the other side by the retaining wall.

    Two Killed in Wrong-Way Car Crash

    [DFW] Two Killed in Wrong-Way Car Crash
    TxDOT engineers plan to examine entrances and exit ramps in the area for future possible problems. (Published Monday, Feb 27, 2012)

    "From the turn where the car was coming from, it almost looked like he was on the right side of the freeway," he said. "It's one of those things that you think, 'It looks like he's on the wrong side.' And right when we both came around the curve, it was too late. It was like, 'Yeah, he is on the wrong side."

    Rodriguez said the last thing he saw was the other car turning the same way he was.

    "We hit. I just remember flying in the truck, yelling, 'Oh my God, oh my God,'" he said.

    He said his children were the last thing that ran through his mind. After the crash, he was just thankful to be alive, Rodriguez said.

    "At that point, it would've sucked if I died over something they did," Rodriguez said. "I'm thankful that I didn't [die]. I'm sorry that they did, but I'm really glad that I'm the one alive."

    Rodriguez said he had started to feel a little old before the crash but now feels younger than ever.

    "I was young once and irresponsible, but at some point in your life, you got to think about the consequences of everything you do," he said.

    NBC 5's Amanda Guerra contributed to this report.