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Mexican tourist who lost leg in taxi tragedy faces long recovery: family

A Mexican tourist who lost her leg after being rammed by a runaway taxi in Manhattan this week is “a fighter” determined to get through, her husband told The Post.

But Daniela Hernandez, 32, has a long road to recovery ahead of her, her family acknowledged Thursday.

“Daniela takes strong painkillers,” her husband Carlos Almazan said in front of the hospital. “But she’s motivated to get through this.

“She’s a fighter,” Almazan said.

Hernandez had her leg amputated after Tuesday’s horrific mishap, just hours before she was due to return to San Luis Potosi after a Big Apple trip with friends.

Doctors at Bellevue Hospital are now trying to save her other leg while her family tries to comfort the married mother-of-two – and are waiting for the swelling to go down so they can operate on her remaining leg to try and fix it to rescue.

Daniela Hernandez Garate
Daniela Hernandez Garate (right) lost her leg after being plowed by a taxi.
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Almazan said doctors estimate she will remain in the hospital for three more weeks.

“It was the girls’ last day in town before they went home,” their mother, Lucia Garate Gomez, said at the hospital.

“She was in the wrong place in a crazy town where anyone can have a license,” Gomez said. “I don’t know how to deal with this and we have to stay here, I don’t know how long. We can not. It’s not a friendly city. I don’t know what we’re gonna do.

“She has more surgeries ahead of her. She’s got bruises all over and cuts and stuff. She’s in a lot of pain,” she added. “We really have to find a way to help her emotionally and physically, but we also have to find a way to stay here.

“Sometimes I want to believe I’m dreaming,” she said. “That it doesn’t happen. That someone will tell me that it’s wrong, that it’s not true. That it doesn’t happen.”

Gomez said her daughter never lost consciousness and “saw everything.”

“She really wants to find the guy who helped her and find him,” she said. “We don’t know who he was. She was always conscious.”

Footage from the accident site on Broadway between 28th and 29th Streets shows hordes of Good Samaritans rushing to the scene to free pedestrians trapped under the taxi.

taxi accident
Pedestrians were trapped under the taxi.
WABC

Police said another woman suffered serious broken legs, another victim suffered a broken left arm and ribs, and others suffered bruises.

A source close to the family told the Post this week that many of the wealthy housewife’s friends returned from the city trip to Mexico on Tuesday.

Hernandez was due to leave in the afternoon after some final shopping.

News of the tragic accident hit Hernandez’s hometown hard, the source said.

“The community here is very affected by this tragedy,” he said. “Everyone is very sad. They want to know if there will be justice.”

taxi accident
Daniela Hernandez has been dubbed a ‘fighter’ by her family while she recovers.
taxi accident
The taxi in the accident was involved in 18 traffic violations since 2019, The Post reported.

He said there was “disbelief” in the injured woman’s hometown in central Mexico that the driver, identified by police as Khan Zahangir, had not been charged in the accident.

“It’s very strange,” he said, asking why Zahangir “isn’t even in custody.”

Police said Zahangir remained at the scene after the accident, which injured six people.

The Post reported this week that his taxi had committed 18 traffic violations since 2019, but it’s unclear if he was behind the wheel in any of them, police said.

Additional reporting by Tina Moore

https://nypost.com/2022/06/23/mexican-tourist-who-lost-leg-in-cab-tragedy-faces-long-recovery-family/ Mexican tourist who lost leg in taxi tragedy faces long recovery: family

JACLYN DIAZ

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