A Manteca soldier home for two weeks from his second Army tour in Iraq to see family and friends before reporting to his third war zone tour is fighting for his life in a Modesto trauma center.
Specialist Fourth Class infantryman Nick Cargill, 24, remains in a coma after being T-boned by a drunk driver who allegedly ran through a stop sign at the Woodward Avenue and South Airport Way intersection.
The Sierra High grad who had not been drinking was almost to his family’s home when the accident occurred.
The driver of the northbound pickup truck, Edgar Ramirez Carrillo, 24 has been charged with felony drunk driving in the crash. According to the Sheriff’s website, Carrillo has been released from custody. Should Cargill die from his injuries Carrillo could be charged with manslaughter. His first appearance in the San Joaquin County Court in Manteca is set for Jan. 22, at 1:30 p.m.
Cargill’s sister, Amanda O’Neill, said Monday that not much has changed for her brother who is currently hooked up to a ventilator and unresponsive to family members. She added that the hospital staff in Modesto will be putting him back in a neurological chair for as long as he can tolerate it.
“Nick was on a two-week leave before training and leaving to do a third tour overseas but this time in Afghanistan. He spent New Year’s Eve hanging out with my kids, visiting my older sister and getting wood for my mom. He then went out to see some friends before leaving for Fort Irwin in the High Desert on Sunday,” O’Neill said.
O’Neill said he loved the Army and had completed his two tours and was planning a third with hope of retiring in 10 years when he turned 34 – hopefully joining the Secret Service at that point.
O’Neill said the last she heard from him was early New Year’s morning with a text letting her know he didn’t need a ride home. He had not been drinking.
“My mom was awakened New Year’s morning by police pounding on her door, letting her know my brother had been in a bad accident and transported to a Modesto hospital. Since the accident he has gone through brain surgery and is suffering from a broken neck, scapula, and ribs and a collapsed lung. He is on life support and unresponsive,” she said.
She added the doctors’ expectations, saying it is possible that he may wake up but that they don’t know when or how extensive the brain damage will be when he does regain consciousness.
His sister has set up a Go Fund Me account (http://www.gofundme.com/jo39dk), expecting he has a long road ahead of him in the possible recovery process. She added that Sunday night “was the hardest it has been” after he was temporarily taken off of life support with him “fighting hard” to breathe.
She also noted that the accident occurred as he neared home in his car.
“I pray that tomorrow will be better and that positive changes will be made. My family and I appreciate all the prayers and support… please do not drink and drive,” she pled.