Family: Austin man in ICU after hit-and-run on E Cesar Chavez

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Editor’s Note: A previous version of this story stated police were searching for the driver of the hit-and-run. Austin Police reported on Friday that the driver is now cooperating with investigators. As such, the charge has been changed from “failure to stop and render aid” to “crash with serious bodily injury.”

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The family of a 26-year-old hit by a car in East Austin last week said he is still undergoing intense medical treatments for his injuries.

At least one car struck Martin Orozco, better known as Fernando, early in the morning on November 3, 2019 while he was waiting for an Uber.

The family said Orozco is currently in the intensive care unit at Dell Seton Medical Center and has undergone nine surgeries, including a 7-hour facial reconstructive surgery.

Fernando Orozco has been hospitalized since Nov. 3, 2019 when he was hit by a car. Police are still looking for the driver. (Courtesy: The Orozco family)

“You never think something like this could happen to you,” said Armando Orozco, Fernando’s older brother. “What happened was very tragic and he is lucky to be alive.”

Ari Orozco, Fernando’s sister, said her brother has a broken pelvis, broken ribs, blood in his brain, internal injuries and heavy blood loss.

“He is like a puzzle and we have to build him back again. To me, that hurts,” Ari Orozco said.

Still, the family is in good spirits and said Orozco is progressing quickly.

“The doctors say he is young, strong and fit, so they have nothing but positive things to say,” said Mayra Orozco, Fernando’s sister. “We know its a lengthy process and it could be awhile before he gets back on his feet.”

Orozco has undergone nine surgeries and the family said there may be more. (Courtesy: The Orozco family)

The family reports that APD detectives are following leads, but have not shared much else. APD confirmed to KXAN that no arrests have been made.

In an APD incident report, two cars are listed. One is described as “in collision,” the other is listed as “seen.” The family said there might have been two cars involved in the hit-and-run.

However, the family isn’t worried about the investigation. They just ask for healing and for other drivers in the city to be safer on the roads.

“We are confident that Austin PD is going to do their job. They are professionals and they have our full trust,” Mayra Orozco said.

“My brother moved here because Austin is beautiful. But also, how can we make Austin safer?” questioned Ari Orozco. “Maybe [Fernando’s accident] can be something that we can use to call awareness.”

Fatal Auto/Pedestrian Crashes

So far in 2019, there have been six instances a driver hit and killed someone and then took off.

in 2018, there were 13 deadly hit-and-run crashes.

Six years ago, the state toughened penalties for failing to stop and render aid. If someone dies, it’s considered a second-degree felony. You could face up to 20 years in prison.

How to help:

A GoFundMe, set up by an Orozco family friend has already reached more than $20,000. The family said people from all around the world have contributed.

Dan Powers, who works with Armando Orozco, launched the fundraiser and watched it take off. It’s already been shared more than 1,000 times.

“It just reaffirms that everyone who knows them thinks they are amazing people,” Powers said. “It’s a long road that he’s got to travel down.”

If you’d like to help the Orozco family, you can access the GoFundMe page here.

The family said Orozco is an artist and has always wanted his work featured in a gallery.

This weekend, he’ll get his chance.

Head to a fundraiser at Something Cool Studios this Saturday and Sunday where his work will be shown. You can visit beginning at 11:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.

If you miss it this weekend, you can also catch a showing on Nov. 23 and Nov. 24.

Tonight on KXAN News at 10, Alex Caprariello speaks to the family and shares how you can help in Fernando’s recovery.

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