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Palestine students hospitalized after deadly wrong-way crash out of ICU, facing tough recovery

Ruben Vasquez, 14, and Rebecca Campa, 15, were coming home from an NBA game with their coach when a wrong-way driver hit them on I-45 in Wilmer.

DALLAS, Texas — Two teens shouldering multiple tragedies are recovering and doing well after surviving a wrong-way crash that killed four on May 22, including a beloved coach the teens were with from Palestine ISD.  

Now, according to family members, the teens face a tough road in terms of recovery and are raising money to help.  

If you'd like to donate, visit this link. 

Per investigators with the Wilmer Police Department, a mini-van driven by Francisca Fuentes collided with Michael Coyne's SUV that Sunday night on Interstate 45. 

Fuentes, who police believe to be from Dallas, was driving with her two toddlers. All three died, including Coyne. 

Rebecca Campa, 15, and Ruben Vasquez, 14, were hospitalized in an ICU, facing numerous surgeries. 

The teens and Coach Coyne were returning from Game 3 of the Mavericks vs. Warriors playoff matchup in Dallas.  

RELATED: Dallas Mavericks honor Palestine ISD coach killed in crash 

Vasquez is a big Warriors fan, and his family had just purchased his tickets to get his mind off the death of his 16-year-old brother Isaac. 

Isaac died after losing control of his car and crashing on May 7 on the way to work, per family members. 

Coyne agreed to take Vasquez and his cousin Campa -- since he was a Warriors fan too. Vasquez also reportedly looked up to Coyne and wanted him to go. 

Credit: Vasquez Family
Campa (left) Coyne (middle) and Vasquez.

Beronica Rocha, the teens' aunt, told WFAA that Coyne was incredibly safe with the children and likely saved their lives at the time of the crash. 

"He made sure that both of the kids were buckled in the backseat when they went to the game and returned home," Rocha said. "He didn't put anyone up front with him, and he also swerved at the time of the crash, and we're thinking that saved Rebecca and Ruben's life." 

The investigation into why Fuentes was driving the wrong way on a major thoroughfare is ongoing. Investigators with Wilmer Police are still waiting on toxicology results to determine if drugs or alcohol were factors.  

Rocha said Vasquez and Campa's family members struggle with the 'why.' 

"It's just very heartbreaking," Rocha said. "Why would somebody drive like that? Risking her kids' lives and other people's lives?" 

Once hospitalized, Campa required surgery on her spine. Vasquez had surgeries on his ankles, both of his arms, and knee surgery too. 

Both will need to enter rehab, per Rocha, and right now the family is fighting with their insurance company to pay for it. 

"They want us to pay for it out of pocket for Rebecca at the very least, so we're looking for an attorney," said Rocha. 

Not only that, both teens contracted COVID this week while in the hospital. 

Rocha said it will be weeks, likely months before the teens are even close to feeling normal. 

But they're moving down this tough road together. 

"Their parents, I just can't imagine what they're going through right now," Rocha said. "We just need your prayers." 

Credit: Vasquez Family
Photo of Rebecca Campa (left) and Ruben Vasquez in the hospital.

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