BEAUMONT, Texas — The family of a 46-year-old Nederland man spoke for the first time on Wednesday after he was involved in a horrific motorcycle crash over the weekend.
Patrick Gallagher was riding his motorcycle along South Gulfway Drive Sunday afternoon in Sabine Pass when he attempted to avoid hitting a car in front of him.
He is now fighting to recover from his injuries at CHRISTUS St. Elizabeth, but is showing positive signs.
Britkne Hand, Gallagher's daughter, said "It was very traumatizing and scary."
Hand was on her way back from the beach when she got stuck in traffic on Sunday.
She heard that a motorcyclist was badly hurt and began praying for the person, not knowing it was her father.
"My husband said 'hey, that looks like your dad's bike over there,'" said Hand. "I said 'no' and we rushed home immediately and I tried calling him and he wasn't answering the phone and I started to get really scared."
Port Arthur Police told 12News Gallagher was traveling southbound along South Gulfway Drive.
Another vehicle was traveling southbound in front of him and began to turn.
That's when officers say Gallagher braked to avoid colliding with the car and laid down the bike.
He ended up a few feet from his motorcycle which then caught on fire.
"I immediately went into tears, I was at work and I was yanked from work and caught," said Chelsey Gallagher, Patrick's other daughter. "I was very shocked and very upset."
Their father was taken by medical helicopter to CHRISTUS St. Elizabeth Hospital in critical condition, where he continues to recover.
"He has quite a few broken bones, his clavicle/shoulder blade, all of his ribs," said Hand. "He collapsed his right lung so he had a chest tube in and they were working on that."
The family said support from the Nederland community has been immense.
Chelsey said "We thank everybody who has reached out to us and sent prayers and kept our dad in their thoughts."
Britkne and Chelsey told 12News their dad has been able to speak with them since the crash.
They know the road to recovery may be long, but they're relieved to know he's still with them.
Hand said "When I walked into the hospital and saw him lying in the bed breathing, it was just such a relief."
Doctors removed Gallagher's chest tube on Wednesday, but he's still experiencing problems with his brain.
His family says he's still disoriented and not able to acknowledge a lot.
Gallagher will remain in the ICU, but doctors hope to transfer him to a health care facility in Houston that specializes in Neurotherapy.