A San Diego man who was nearly killed by a hit-and-run driver is out of a coma now and talking with his family.
The crash happened on March 7 in the parking lot of a grocery store in the Rolando area of San Diego. It is still a long road to recovery 47-year-old Tu Hoang Lam, but his family is optimistic he will heal.
“Yesterday, most of the family members went on zoom and he actually spoke with us, which is very nice,” said Dandy Lam, Tu Hoang Lam’s 11-year-old daughter.
Dandy Lam says it was an almost celebratory mood when she heard her father speak again. The father of two had been in a medically induced coma for nearly two weeks.
“All his family members who speak Vietnamese were all talking about it. They want to go on a cruise when he gets better,” said Dandy Lam.
It will still be some time before Tu Hoang Lam can back on a cruise ship. He just went through his final major surgery to repair his pelvis. Lam suffered multi-system failure following the crash, according to his family. He also lost part of his right leg.
“He’ll get a prosthetic, and that’s a long road to learning how to walk and move again,” said Ben Xavier, Tu Hoang Lam’s brother.
The hit-and-run happened in the parking lot of the Food 4 Less store at 5975 University Ave. Tu Lam was buckling his son into a car seat. A silver Saturn Vue hit Lam, pinning him to his car. Surveillance video captured images of the suspect’s vehicle. Police have located the vehicle, but no arrests have been made.
Lam’s 6-year-old son was unhurt in the crash but was extremely upset about what happened to his dad.
“My brother witnessed it. It was quite sad. He’s doing fine now but he may need some therapy. He must be pretty traumatized,” said Dandy Lam.
Tu Hoang Lam was also the primary financial provider, a role that must now be taken on by his wife.
Neighbors have shown their generosity through this ordeal. A GoFundMe page set up for the family has already gathered more than $70,000 in donations.
Lam’s medical costs will likely keep climbing. He is still in the intensive care unit. Hospital visits are still restricted due to the pandemic, but his family is grateful for the support they've received.
“A huge thank you to the staff at Scripps Mercy in Hillcrest who are taking care of Tu when we are unable to at this time. They’ve been extraordinary to us and taking care of him, so we thank them from the bottom of our hearts,” said Xavier.
“And thank you to you and to everyone who has listened to his story and contributed to the family in the way they have,” Xavier added.
If you would like to donate to the Lam family’s fundraising page, click here.
Anyone with information on this crash was asked to call the SDPD at (619) 531-2000 or (858) 484-3154, or a tip can be called in anonymously to Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477. Crime Stoppers is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information that leads to an arrest.