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While trucker recovers from near-fatal wreck, family hopes to find 'guardian angel'

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Posted at 9:59 PM, Jun 29, 2021

NORTON SHORES, Mich. — A semitruck driver is on the long road to recovery after a near-fatal wreck on a Muskegon County highway. Meanwhile, he and his family are hoping to track down another man who was on the road that fateful night.

It all happened late Wednesday on US-31 near Norton Shores when a semitruck slammed against the pillar of an overpass at Airline Road. The driver, 28-year-old Paul Maksim of Rockford, Illinois, was pinned inside. Police say he hydroplaned on the wet road and lost control.

“Just seeing that [picture of the crash] has me think like, he has to have a guardian angel watching over him because he narrowly missed hitting the column fully head-on,” Paul’s wife Courtney said in an interview with FOX 17.

Video FOX 17 shot at the scene shows Paul’s truck nearly flattened up against the concrete wall. Miraculously, he was rescued from the wreckage by first responders and rushed to the hospital.

The father of three young kids suffered extensive injuries to the lower half of his body and remains hospitalized in Muskegon, though things could have been much worse.

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Paul and Courtney Maksim and their three kids.

“We've had surgeons come in, and the nurses come in and tell him they don't know how he survived. They don't know how, why he doesn't have more injuries,” Courtney said.

“He's still being himself, he knows what happened and he understands what his body is going through right now. But it's extremely hard on him right now to know that he's not going to be able to do the things he used to do for a long time,” she explained.

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Paul in hospital after crash.

Courtney says someone must have been “watching over him,” and in fact, someone was. Right now, they only know him as Issac.

“When my husband had crashed, Isaac was directly in the car behind them. He pulled up, from what my husband said; he ran up and climbed up into the truck as much as he could without damaging himself, and my husband was halfway through the floorboard of his truck. He was pinned,” Courtney explained. "Isaac held his hand and kept him awake. Telling him, 'Hey, what's your name? Like, talk to me; help is coming your way; it's okay.'"

She’s hoping they get the chance to thank Issac personally, and they’re asking the community to spread the word to help find him.

“Having somebody with that kind of heart be there for somebody like that in so much pain. It takes a special soul for sure, because not everybody would reach out to help somebody and that means a lot,” Courtney said.

“People will drive by it and keep going, and to have somebody there when my husband was screaming, it means beyond words to me. I want to thank him; my husband wants to thank him. We want to find him,” she added.

If you know Issac, feel free to reach out to FOX 17 so we can help connect them.

If you are interested in helping the Maksim family during this difficult time, click here.

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