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October 25, 2007 Government and Politics

Good Samaritan Loses Leg Helping An Off-Duty Mesa Police Officer

From: City Of Mesa
On September 18, 2007, in the early afternoon, 22-year-old Gabriel Botiller of Apache Junction was driving westbound on the U.S. 60 freeway in the area of Greenfield Road. Many of us who drive the local freeways know that they can be very busy at times. It is not uncommon to see stranded motorists pulled to the side of the busy expressway. You take a quick glance and before you can think of stopping to help you already passed and you drive on, hoping that help for the stranded motorist is on the way.

On that day Gabriel Botiller was no different, driving on the freeway when he noticed a stranded motorist pulled to the side of the road. As fate would have it the stranded motorist was an off-duty Mesa Police officer. The officer was on his way to the airport to pick up his wife when he had a tire blowout.

The one thing that is different is that Gabriel took it upon himself to stop and help someone in need. Up to that point Gabriel had been working at a local Discount Tire in east Mesa for two months. He figured if the stranded motorist had a tire blowout he could help change the tire.

Gabriel stopped behind the disabled vehicle and put on his Discount Tire work shirt. He contacted the stranded police officer and told him that he would change his tire for him. Gabriel started changing the tire. At this point the police officer was out of his vehicle near Gabriel as he worked quickly to get the job done.

The events that took place from this point are tragic. A vehicle struck Gabriel’s truck, which in turn sent the truck towards Gabriel and the police officer. The driver of the vehicle was tragically killed and at that point Gabriel’s fate was uncertain. The police officer received serious injuries and was transported to the hospital.

Gabriel was airlifted to a local trauma center with severe injuries, his chances of survival slim. Gabriel fought for his life and won. He was certain that he would be here for his wife Keli and their fifteen-month old son Noah. After four weeks in the hospital Gabriel was released and now he faces a very long road of recovery. Gabriel lost his left leg in the accident. His right leg was severely broken in several places. His collarbone was broken and he received several lacerations.

A member of the Mesa Police Department Media Relations Unit recently met with Gabriel and his wife Keli at the Discount Tire located at Recker and Main in Mesa. They stated that if it hadn’t been for Discount Tire, they would have no rental car to take Gabriel to and from his medical appointments. Gabriel’s work family has committed themselves to helping the Botiller’s in their time of need. They have done too much for me to list and the Botiller’s are clearly grateful for that.

One thing that Discount Tire is doing to help Gabriel and his family will take place this Sunday, October 28, 2007 starting at 10:00 a.m. Discount Tire on the southeast corner of Recker and Main in Mesa will host the car wash and all of the proceeds will go to Gabriel and his family. In addition, anyone wishing to make a donation to the Botiller family can go to any Bank of America valley wide and deposit that donation in the Gabriel Botiller Medical Fund.

We at the Mesa Police Department have been deeply touched by this incident. Our officer that was involved in the collision is recovering, but often asks how Gabriel and his family are doing, likewise from the beginning Gabriel has seemed to be more concerned with the officer. We will continue to support Gabriel and his family in any way we can and we ask that members of the community do so as well.

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