Family of toll booth crash survivor hoping for a miracle - KCTV5

Family of toll booth crash survivor hoping for a miracle

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KANSAS CITY, KS (KCTV) -

What caused a truck driver to slam into a toll booth near Bonner Springs, KS, early Saturday morning is still a mystery.

The driver was killed and Wednesday the family of the passenger who is still in the hospital spoke out.

The manager of the freight company that owned the semi, Eastern Freight Solutions, told one publication that photos taken just before the crash appear to show the driver, 30-year-old Sergiy Angelchev, sleeping.

Friends and family of the survivor, 25-year-old Roman Ilyaich, aren't worrying about that right now. They said they're just praying for a miracle.

"The doctors are saying that his is a very serious trauma," said Anna Zlotnikova, Ilyaich's girlfriend who translated for his father.

Ilyaich's father, Yuhkay Ilyaich, talked about his son in Russian on Wednesday. He's hospitalized in critical condition following Saturday's semi crash on westbound Interstate 70 on the Kansas Turnpike.

Authorities say his friend, Angelchev, drove into an unoccupied toll booth. He died at the scene.

Roman Ilyaich's girlfriend said she woke up the day of the crash to a voicemail from Roman.

"Saying that he was just kind of waking up, that he loves me and that he'll see me at 10 a.m. And I'm going to get ready for a fun-filled, some kind of day that he had planned and that he'll just see me soon," Zlotnikova said.

When he didn't show, she said she got upset.

"I even sent him a Snapchat of the message that he sent me that he'd be here at 10. I said, ‘of course you're late. Where are you? I'm waiting.' Little did I know," Zlotnikova said.

For Zlotnikova, all anyone needs to know about Roman Ilyaich can be summed up in a story about when they were struggling financially.

"It came down to having $26 in our pocket, and he saw a homeless man with a puppy and he gave every last cent to that man and, of course, he came to the car and I said, ‘What did you do?' and he said, ‘That man needed it a little bit more than us,'" she said. "I need him back. We need him back. And, trust me, the world needs him back. He can bring so much good and he does bring so much good."

There's no word on if Roman Ilyaich is improving or a possible release date. His family said they'll stay at the hospital as long as it takes, until he does leave.

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