HICKORY, N.C. (WBTV) – The town of Vashti has a lookout point where people can view the valley and see a cluster of their neighbors.
It’s a lovely setting where Amanda Carson wanted to meet to talk about her friend Sandra Lancaster, who was recently hit by an accused drunk driver. The accident left the mother of 12 with serious injuries and caused her to lose an unborn child at almost 20 weeks.
“We are very close knit community. People really come together when there’s a time of need,” said Carson.
It’s one of those times for the Lancaster family. State troopers say Arturo Saucedo Juarez hit the parents, Danny and Sandra, head-on after crossing the center line on Springs Road in Hickory days before Christmas.
“The doctors did not think she would make it through that first night, neither did the paramedics on scene,” said Carson.
While Sandra’s husband spends time with her in the Intensive Care Unit, the community has rallied to take care of the Lancaster’s 12 children. The oldest is 21, the youngest is two years old.
“The little ones don’t really understand right now,” said Carson. “The older ones have always been responsible. They’ve stepped up and taken on adult responsibilities.”
Friend and neighbors are trying to fill the gap by taking care of the kids, bringing food, sending up prayers, and giving money to help the financial strain that comes with major medical emergencies.
Carson started a GoFundMe web page to spread the word and give updates on Sandra’s recovery.
They had a bright spot Christmas day when Sandra was alert and gave the kids hugs from her hospital bed. “She’s doing better day by day,” said Carson.
Meanwhile, Juarez remains in jail on a $400,000 bond.
“I just hope the family gets justice,” said Carson.