BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — A 68-year-old man is preparing to spend Thanksgiving at UAB Hospital recovering from injuries during a hit-and-run in Tuscaloosa County last week.
Jose Ramos’ family said he was seriously hurt after he was struck by a vehicle Nov. 22 as he worked along I-59/20.
“He was working on the truck and somebody came and side swiped him and that’s all we know as of now,” said Danny Oikion, Ramos’ son-in-law.
Ramos’ large family drove more than 10 hours from Illinois to be by his side. Oikion told CBS 42 that several members of the family work on tractor-trailers.
“He is the rock of our family. Without him, we’d have nothing. We all do this business and we’ve all learned it from him, so yeah, he is very important to this family,” Oikion said.
According to a spokesperson for the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, the incident happened around mile marker 97 in the northbound lanes of I-59/20. A possible vehicle description wasn’t available in the ongoing investigation.
Oikion hopes other drivers will remember to move over or slow down for first responders and emergency vehicles.
“It is very dangerous. We can put all the lights we want, we can put all the cones we want but if you are going in that lane and you don’t slow down and move over, we can get clipped at any time,” he said.
While the investigation continues, Oikion’s attorney is hopeful someone will come forward with information.
“We need anybody who knows anything about the incident or is you may have seen the vehicle that struck Mr. Ramos, or who knows anything, even if it is the smallest piece of information, we need help from the public at this point to help us track down the person who is responsible,” C. Todd Buchanan said.
Oikion said he doesn’t understand why the driver didn’t stop after the collision.
“It’s kind of ridiculous, you would think just being a human you would stop and see if somebody is alright knowing that you hit him,” he said.
Ramos’ family expects a long road to recovery. While Ramos is expected to survive the crash, other roadside workers have died recently in Central Alabama.
On Sunday, neighbors will hold an event to raise awareness about the state’s move over law.
Anyone with information is urged to call the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency.
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