SPRING HILL, Kan. — An Olathe man’s family may never be the same.
Prosecutors say a drunk driver hit his family. Ten people were injured in the crash, including several members of his family.
Now, the man’s boss and coworkers are doing everything they can to help him in his time of need.
For people driving in Olathe, the crash was a terrible sight on June 28.
“Crashes like these don’t happen every day, very significant crash,” Olathe Fire Capt. Mike Hall said. “We just hope everyone’s OK.”
At Old 56 Highway near Harrison Street, four vehicles were involved. There was significant damage to two vehicles.
A black sedan rear-ended a minivan belonging to a man named Jose, the head chef at Bull Creek Distillery. Owner Mike Denny said when he heard his family was hit, Jose dropped everything.
“Jose just left. That is very unlike Jose,” Denny said. “Usually he is one of the best employees we’ve ever had.”
Denny said Jose’s wife and children were in the van, and he was horrified to see the images of the crash. The family was spread out across three separate hospitals.
“It was breathtakingly terrible, to see something like that when it’s someone you know and it’s their family. Jose was supposed to be in the car with his family,” Denny said. “I can’t even imagine what that would be like having those thoughts go through your head.”
The Johnson County prosecuting attorney charged the driver, Miguel Perez-Ramirez, with 10 counts of aggravated battery during a DUI and two counts of aggravated child endangerment.
“He should go to jail for a long time,” Denny said.
Denny said employees put out a jar for donations, information on how to help at every table and the ability to donate through their point of service at every transaction.
Coworkers gave their tips, and some even signed their paychecks over to Jose.
“It’s powerful. Money is important. It’s what makes the world go round,” Denny said. “To see somebody realize there’s things more important and willing to sacrifice their hard work to help out one of their colleagues is amazing.”
Denny said Jose’s family may have lifelong expenses because of their injuries.
“They’re going to need all the help they can get,” Denny said. “They weren’t asking for this. They were just sitting at a light, and their lives got blindsided.”
He hopes people will step up to help in any way they can. Between Jose’s extended family and Bull Creek, they’ve raised around $15,000 for the family, but Denny said they’ll need much more to stay afloat financially.
“If they can set aside some money for Jose and his family, it would go a long way. It’s going to be a hard time for them,” Denny said.
If you would like to help, you can donate through the family’s Gofundme page or donate at Bull Creek Distillery. Denny said 100% of the funds raised through the distillery will go to the family.