San Diegans step up to help hero Marine hit in DUI - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

San Diegans step up to help hero Marine hit in DUI

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - A battle-tested Marine who was run over by an accused drunk driver remains in critical condition Tuesday. Friends, family and strangers are fighting for the war hero, who fought for his country for the past 17 years, by giving support and donations.

We are told Gunnery Sergeant Dave Smith is making small improvements. His fiancée says his brain is functioning because he is blinking with his eyes to answer yes and no questions. Support for him is pouring in, including a visit from his mother Catherine Joyner, who flew in from North Carolina and saw her son in his hospital bed for the first time.

"It takes your breath away. It makes you want to scoop him up and hold him. It's tough, it's real tough," Catherine said.

San Diego police say on Sunday, Smith was stopped at a red light on his motorcycle in Rancho Bernardo when 21-year-old Jessica Bloom rear-ended him and sped away. A stumbling Bloom was later arrested for drunk driving and felony hit and run.

Dave Rickards from Jack FM's DSC was one of the first to reach out and help the war hero, who survived four tours of duty with major combat.

"I heard he had survived an IED only to come home and get plowed over by a lady while he was sitting on the road in Rancho Bernardo. What dumb luck," Rickards said.

The DSC made a $1,000 donation to Smith's family, and they weren't alone. Radio talk show host Mike Slater from 760 AM wasn't surprised when his listeners came through with airfare and hotel expenses for Smith's family.

"Especially when it comes to our military, we love them so much and we realize that we have everything for them is because of them, and we'd have nothing without them," Slater said.

With help from the military and private donations, Smith's 14-year-old daughter Kaitlyn will also be able to visit her father free of charge.

"It restores my faith in the human race, because I work in the prison system where I don't see the good part of the human race," Catherine said.

Catherine knows all about inmates locked up behind bars, which is where Jessica Bloom is right now awaiting a Wednesday arraignment.

"And to leave him there, that's the big part, that's the hardest part of accepting what she has done is that she just left him there. I don't know how anybody could do that. He gave her her freedom to do whatever she does and she just left him there," Catherine said.

If you would like to help with a contribution to the Dave Smith foundation, you may make donations at any Wells Fargo bank - the account number is #1585376393.

Also El Cajon Harley-Davidson is having a fundraiser: 

  • 621 El Cajon Blvd
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