The Gospel of John tells us, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” Still, I think we’d all agree that a father’s willingness to risk life and limb for his family has to rank pretty highly, too.
Aaron Gutierrez of Fresno, California, knows exactly how that feels.
On the night of Jan. 5, he’d taken his pregnant wife, his mother, and his three children — including his 1-year-old baby — out to the mall for pizza.
Afterward, they took the bus home, and once they’d disembarked, the chaos started. Gutierrez was holding his youngest child when an out-of-control truck careened off the road and right toward them.
“I heard a big bang,” he told People. I looked over my shoulder and I saw the truck flying towards us.”
Gutierrez wasted no time. He shoved his wife out of the way and had only a split second to prepare himself for the worst.
“I looked at my wife, and it was heading right towards her direction,” he said. “I knew I was going to get hit, and I put my son as high as I could, and I got hit.”
The truck, a blue Toyota Tacoma, crashed into him, bowling him over. Somehow, though, he managed to keep hold of his baby.
Gutierrez credits his love for sports with helping him save his youngest child’s life, saying, “Luckily enough, I played football for so many years so I was able to cuddle my son into my hands when I flew into the building. After that, I blacked out.”
He woke to a scene of horror, to his wife and mother bleeding on the sidewalk, to his own body which was so battered that he couldn’t stand up.
Lt. Mark Hudson of the Fresno Police Department told KSFN that Gutierrez’s actions likely saved his wife’s life, but his mother suffered extensive injuries, including a brain bleed.
What makes this even more heart wrenching, though, is that before the accident, Gutierrez was diagnosed with testicular cancer.
The crash snapped bones in his leg and shoulder, yet his injuries shouldn’t keep him from beginning chemotherapy.
Gutierrez said that he was initially infuriated with the vehicle’s 19-year-old driver, who was speeding when he lost control of the truck.
“I was really, really mad,” he explained. “But our family is way closer, and we have a better bond now.
“I get to spend more time with my kids and wife since I was always on the road before. So in that way, it was blessing in disguise.”
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.