Wife of man crushed by van: ‘I can only imagine laying there and being in his position’

Posted at 10:08 PM, Jul 18, 2017

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – A vacation to West Michigan for a couple from Texas ended with the husband in the hospital after he was crushed by a van.

Tino Hillery was severely injured July 6 while working under the vehicle, trying to repair it for a friend. The accident happened in the parking lot of the Motel 6 on Plainfield Avenue.

“He’s got catastrophic, very traumatic injuries to his upper torso," said Denise Hillery, Tino’s wife. “He was crushed by a 12-passenger van that came down on top of him.”

“It came down off the jack, and it pulled it kind of diagonal,” Denise explained. “And then it just lurched back, and it grabbed Tino and pulled him with it. It took him for about nine feet.”

After he spent nearly two weeks at Spectrum Butterworth Hospital, Denise said her husband’s recovery is slow.  She adds Tino suffered a stroke, leading to some memory loss.

“It’s really hard, because I can only imagine laying there and be in his position," Denise said, “and not know why I’m laying there, not know what happened, and not know what’s going on. And then to have some woman, coming up on 50 (years old), telling you she’s your wife.”

Denise noted the couple has no health insurance, and since they're from Texas, they have to lean on support from a community they are not a part of for help.

If you would like to help, you can donate at their GoFundMe page.

Denise says doctors hope Tino’s condition will improve so they can move him to Mary Free Bed for further rehabilitation.