‘We need a lot of prayers’: Pasco firefighter, wife, infant daughter severely injured in crash

Pasco County

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Pasco County Fire Rescue is asking for prayers after a firefighter, his wife and their infant daughter suffered severe injuries in a crash Friday afternoon.

Corey Dierdorff with Pasco County Fire Rescue identified the firefighter as Hunter Garcia. Dierdorff says Garcia and his wife suffered serious injuries in the crash on Van Dyke Road Friday afternoon. Their daughter suffered life-threatening injuries.

“Our firefighter was listed as a trauma alert when he was first brought to the hospital. Since then, he’s been able to get up and move around a little bit, ” Dierdorff said in a press conference Saturday.

Garcia suffered serious injuries to his face and other parts of his body, Dierdorff says. His wife has undergone a few surgeries for a fractured back and pelvis.

Their daughter was described as being in the worst condition.

“Still in very, very critical condition,” Dierdorff said. “The doctors are doing everything that they can to try to save this little girl’s life.”

According to Dierdorff, Garcia has been with the fire department for just under two years.

“It’s really devastating. It’s hard for us as first responders. For people that don’t know, that aren’t a part of that family – we truly are a family,” Dierdorff said. “These men and women spend a third of their lives together and they would lay their lives down in an instant for any one of our families. So when something happens – it hits home.”

Dierdorff says the show of support from the community has been helpful during this difficult time as the fire department tries to help Garcia’s family.

“Our focus right now is their immediate needs, trying to get them through this tough time. And we really need a lot of prayers. This little girl is fighting for her life right now,” he said. “It’s heartbreaking. As a father, I can’t imagine.”

The crash that injured Garcia and his family is still under investigation. Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Amanda Granit said Friday a vehicle traveling on Brown Street ran through a stop sign and T-boned a car traveling westbound on Van Dyke.

In total, four cars were involved in the crash of which included eight people. Five of the eight were taken to the hospital, the other three declined medical treatment and remained on scene.

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