Michael Sanchez was non-responsive, had low blood pressure and had to have a breathing tube put in in the first few minutes after arriving at Regional Medical Center in San Jose on Tuesday. Sanchez was found alive, seven days after the California Highway Patrol says the 25 year old crashed off the Hellyer exit on Highway 101 in South San Jose. Witnesses reported the accident and saw a man walk away from the accident. But Doctor Wilbur says there is no doubt Sanchez had not moved in a week.
"All you have to do is look at his back and he has the classic pressure sores of somebody who's lying on his back, unmoving for that period of time," Doctor Wilbur said.
Doctor Wilbur says Sanchez also suffered a blow to the back of his head. His body also showed no signs of food or water.
"Anybody over 60 would not have survived this. But because he's 25 years of age, the young body can just survive things and has much more resiliency than you do when you are older," Doctor Wilbur said.
The CHP and fire crews scoured the rugged terrain in the dark off the freeway for Sanchez but could not find him. What they did find was his Ford Pick-up truck that looked similar to this one. A witness told investigators he saw the car swerve across the lanes and go over the embankment into the dense brush below. Sanchez' family is upset he wasn't found right away.
"Why wasn't I informed?", Priscilla Sanchez, Michael's sister, said. "I put out a missing persons report on the 10th. Why wasn't I informed? CHP should have contacted SJPD and said I found a truck...why didn't CHP do their job?"
San Jose Police detectives searched the scene seven days later after learning about the accident from the CHP. It was during this second search, Sanchez was found alive.
"I can completely understand the family being upset," Lt. Les Bishop, a California Highway Patrol spokesperson said. "We're upset. Any public service agency that's what we're all about is providing service and it didn't happen the way that it needed to happen obviously"
Doctor Wilbur says Sanchez' condition is starting to get better. Sanchez opened his eyes, moved his arms, and his kidneys that had failed are beginning to recover.
"He is now coming back," Dr. Wilbur said. "And his kidneys are functioning again. He's not on dialysis. He's making urine. And we're pleased and surprised at the level and return of function of his kidneys."