Beloved father battling to survive after drunk driver hits Uber

Eli Rickman and his son. Photo: Courtesy
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A Grapevine father is fighting to live in Methodist Dallas Medical Center after police say the Uber he was riding in was hit by a drunk driver.

According to family members, 32-year-old Eli Rickman was with 3 of his coworkers when they left a concert in Dallas and got into an Uber early Sunday morning.

Police reports say that Uber was hit while going through an intersection at Llewelyn and Jefferson around 2 AM.

Francisco Torralba-Perez, 29, was arrested at the scene for five counts of intoxication assault with a vehicle.

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Investigators say that Torralba-Perez was drunk, and crashed into the Uber when he drove through a red light. He’s also being held as an undocumented immigrant in the Dallas County Jail.

All passengers suffered fractures and broken bones to a degree.

The driver of the Uber remains at Baylor Scott & White in Dallas, and suffered a brain hemorrhage but is in stable condition.

RELATED: You're in an Uber that gets in a crash. What do you do?

The three other passengers, including Rickman, are still at Methodist Dallas Medical Center.

One is in stable condition, the other is in critical condition according to hospital officials. Rickman, now, is unconscious in the ICU.

His brother, Lanny Rickman, says that the 32-year-old’s brain is swelling and that he suffered internal bleeding following lacerations to the spleen and liver.

Rickman also says that his brother had a broken pelvis and hip.

The most devastating part? Rickman says his brother and friends were drinking but did the right thing by calling an Uber.

“The first thing I told my dad was this kid has no luck,” Lanny Rickman said. “You try to do the right thing, you call the Uber—and you never think this is going to happen but it does.”

Now, Rickman says his brother and family are staring hospital bills in the face. He tells WFAA that he’s not sure if the 32-year-old has proper healthcare coverage to pay for his injuries.

However, Uber can help pay for some injuries sustained in a rideshare vehicle.

The company provides up to $1 million in injury coverage even if an Uber driver isn’t at fault in an accident.

However, attorney Jacob Alford with Alford & Clark PLLC in San Antonio says that the money would have to be split between the 5 victims in the crash.

Right now, Rickman’s family is navigating their way through the red tape and filing a claim.

They’ve also started a GoFundMe page that’s gaining attention.

Ultimately, Rickman just wants to see his brother smile again. But he also wants to let other people know their options if they're injured in a ridesharing crash.

“Pay attention and educate yourself—because if you get stuck in this thing that we are in—it’s a long road to hoe,” Rickman said.

Learn more: Uber insurance information

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