Tow Truck Driver Injured in Fiery Wrong-Way Crash in Logan Heights in Medically-Induced Coma

A man, injured in a fiery wrong-way crash on Interstate 5 in Logan Heights early Saturday is in a medically induced coma at UC San Diego Medical Center.

Aaron Palacios, a tow truck driver, suffered major injuries and burns to 50 percent of his body, according to Western Towing Supervisor Michelle Martin.

"It's a waiting game, and there are a lot of surgeries for him in the future," said Martin. "He is doing as good as can be expected."

She said recovery is expected but he will stay in a coma for the next few weeks or months.

California Highway Patrol officers received several phone calls moments before the crash reporting a driver in a sports car traveling the wrong way on I-5 near 28th Street.

The sports car collided with the tow truck on northbound I-5 at 32nd Street, CHP officers said.

When emergency crews arrived, both the tow truck and the car were in flames, San Diego Fire-Rescue Department (SDFD) Chief Ted Moran said.

Marc Le Friant, 42, was behind the wheel of the sports car. He died in the crash, CHP officers said. 

Witnesses told NBC 7 that Palacios managed to get himself out of the wreckage of his tow truck before it fully burned. He was seen running over to the wrong-way driver's car, trying to help him as the flames consumed the car.

"He was a good man, as shown by his willingness to help the other driver even when he was on fire," Martin said.

She added before Palacios was induced in a coma, he asked how the driver of the other car was doing.

Le Friant's parents visited the hospital Sunday to thank Palacios and his family for his heroic efforts to save their son, according to family friend Jimmy Attencio.

"A very good, friendly, hard-working dude, as a matter of fact, he even gave me this shirt, gave me this shirt off his back," Attencio told NBC 7 in an interview Monday night.

Attencio said Le Friant was devoted to Porche racing and they worked together on high-performance engines.

The deadly collision is under investigation.

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