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Victoria man in critical condition after being crushed by truck

By BY J.R. ORTEGA - JRORTEGA@VICAD.COM
Sept. 7, 2011 at 4:07 a.m.

Ernest Garza, 62, of Victoria, was crushed after working on his antique Chevrolet truck on Labor Day. Garza is in critical condition at a San Antonio hospital.

If there was one place you could find 62-year-old Victoria resident Ernest Garza, it would be working on his antique truck.

But Garza's lifelong hobby turned tragic Monday when his 1967 blue Chevrolet truck rolled on top of him in the 3400 block of Woodlawn Street, crushing his chest and breaking his face.

Garza is at the University Medical Center in San Antonio in critical condition after three days since the Labor Day accident.

"He really put a lot into his truck," said Debra Garland, Garza's sister-in-law. "He's a very outgoing man. He would give you the shirt of his back."

Garza's wife of 38 years, Dolores, is still in shock over the incident.

Garza's 36-year-old son, Jeremy Garza, who managed to lift the truck with one arm and pull his father out from under the truck with the other, is also at a loss for words, Garland said.

Garland looks at Garza as a brother because she has known him since she was 7, she said.

The truck apparently slipped off a ramp and rolled on top of Garza.

Garza, a trucker for Coastal Transportation in San Antonio, is unconscious, has two punctured lungs and is on a ventilator, Garland said.

"He was the type of man always working," she said. "He couldn't just be sitting down."

The family is taking any progress day-by-day, according to Garland.

"He has got so much support," Garland said. "My phone has been ringing off the wall. People are calling and praying for him."

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