Burned kids recover after fiery crash in Mexico

Three burn victims are recovering at Shriners Hospital for Children in Sacramento following a fiery crash in Mexico.

The Sacramento family was in Mexico when their vacation took a turn for the worst. A mom and her three children were medically evacuated from Mexico and flown into Sacramento International Airport Tuesday night. AviaMedix, a company that performs medical air evacuations, coordinated the family's return.

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Thomas Gonzalez Tijero, 13, was injured the worst in the crash. Thomas and his two siblings Javier and Mariana are being treated at the children's hospital.

"We saw that Thomas was trapped by the door," the children's mother Maria Gonzalez Tijero recalled.

The family was driving near the town of Culiacan, Mexico on Sunday morning when their pickup truck had a blowout and crashed into a tree. The truck quickly caught on fire and Thomas was stuck.

"My husband and I were able to save him," Gonzalez Tijero said. "We were able to free him and get him out."

Seconds later, the entire truck went up in flames.

All their passports were charred so it was a bit of a hassle to bring the kids back into the U.S.

Once they got family back in the states to provide documentation, the trip was made possible so the children could return to Sacramento and receive the best medical care.

"The burns are deep, but they're not very extensive," Shriners Hospitals Burn Unit Chief Dr. David Greenhalgh said.

Because of the advanced technology and resources, Shriners is the busiest pediatric burn center in the state and routinely takes burn victims from all over.

"About 20 percent of our children we admit with burns are from Mexico," Greenhalgh said.

The children are expected to fully recover.

Gonzalez Tijero has a broken arm and bruises throughout her body. She's thankful for all the help the family has received. Her husband is still stuck in Mexico, but there are plans in place to bring him back.


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