WEST SENECA, N.Y. (WIVB) — Don Schultz headed out Tuesday afternoon to clear storm sewer drains along Glenmar Drive in West Seneca.
It’s the type of job he’s done for years, and with equipment he’s used, in the same way, for years. But something went horribly wrong, and now, the 53-year-old is fighting for his life.
Signs of the accident were all that was left in the neighborhood Wednesday, neon spray paint on the ground, marks on the curb the truck jumped after running over Schultz and a badly damaged electrical box, where the massive truck came to rest.
Other details — like whether the truck slipped out of gear and how Schultz got caught beneath it — are still being determined; as is his future. Schultz was seriously injured, and has stabilized in critical condition at ECMC.
“He is a tough fighter, and I have full faith that he’ll fight right through this,” said Matthew Stacey, another member of the West Seneca Highway Department, who’s known Schultz since he was 15. “You can bend him, but you ain’t gonna’ break him.”
Brian Cummins is the president of the local CSEA that represents West Seneca highway workers. He’s known Schultz for most of his 28 years on the job.
“He was the type of guy who did a lot of things for everybody else,” Cummins said
Now everybody else is doing things for him, namely, reaching out with their wallets, donating close to $12,000 in 24 hours.
“We don’t want them to worry about things,” Cummins said. “All we want is for them to focus on him, and make sure he’s better. Our main thing is to make sure that Don and his family are taken care of.
Stacey and Cummins said in emergencies like these, the local highway department comes together naturally; more like a family than a group of co-workers.
“He is family. He is one of our family members, and that’s how this highway department is,” Stacey At the end of the day, when we punch out, we are family. We represent every single member, and I can guarantee you that he would do the same exact thing for me.
To visit Schultz’s GoFundMe page, click here.