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Victoria West recent grad paralyzed after wreck on 59

By Bianca Montes
June 22, 2013 at 1:22 a.m.


A Victoria teenager is paralyzed from the chest down after a one-truck wreck Tuesday afternoon.

The driver, Amber Ruiz , 17, and passenger Shawn Shanks, 39, of Victoria, were northbound in the 9000 block of U.S. Highway 59, when Ruiz lost control, said Department of Public Safety Trooper Wesley Rodriguez.

The 2002 Ford Explorer truck rolled several times and landed upright in a ditch separating the highway lanes, said Rodriguez.

Ruiz, a recent graduate of Victoria West High School, underwent surgery Friday to remove a broken disk in the vertebrae, said her father, Paul Ruiz Jr. She is recovering in the pediatric intensive care unit at University Hospital in San Antonio.

Ruiz Jr. said his daughter is awake, moving her arms and talking.

A rehabilitation program will be next, he said.

“I’m mostly hopeful,” he said. “But I’m still praying.”

Ruiz was originally transported to DeTar Hospital Navarro and was then transferred to University Hospital in San Antonio.

Shanks refused treatment at the scene and was able to leave in another vehicle.

The accident investigation is closed.

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