Big rig slams into Butte County teen's car on foggy highway, leaving him badly injured

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BUTTE COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) -- A Butte County teenager is fighting to survive after his car was T-boned by a big rig on a foggy morning near his family’s home.

On Thursday, Jesse Titus described his 18-year-old son Jacob’s love for rodeo.

“Roping, bull riding, bronc riding, barrel racing,” Jesse said.

The avid rider is a member of the Lassen Community College rodeo team as a saddle bronc and bareback rider.

“When he started to rodeo and I was always worried he would get hurt doing that,” Jesse told FOX40.

Jesse said he was at home with his family Sunday morning when they “could hear the sirens from our house."

"It was probably five minutes away,” he said.

He said his wife checked a Facebook group to see what was going on.

“Accident involved a semi and then described the car my son had. And my wife said, 'Oh my God, we need to go over there,’” Jesse recalled. “Saw the car, so we knew it was him.”

California Highway Patrol officials say around 7 a.m. Sunday, a big rig was traveling northbound on Highway 99 in Butte County.

A dashcam video from the truck driver’s perspective was sent to FOX40 anonymously. It shows the green Subaru Outback driven by Jacob Titus traveling westbound on Evans Reimer Road approaching Highway 99 when the collision happened.

“And he continued into the intersection where he was broadsided by the big rig,” said CHP Officer Ben Draper.

CHP officials are using the video as part of their investigation. They believe weather conditions may have been a factor in the crash.

“Fog was more than likely one of the factors in the collision,” Officer Draper said.

Jesse said his son suffered multiple fractures and a collapsed lung. He also lost a finger in the crash. He said Jacob has already undergone heart surgery and multiple brain surgeries.

"The worst one's the head trauma. Before he’s got a lot of fractures," Jesse told FOX40. "He’s had a few operations. His lungs were badly bruised and collapsed lung. He had a torn artery to his heart."

While he was grateful for all the support coming in from across the country, Jesse said he was praying Jacob heals and returns to doing what he loves.

“First looking at him you’re going, ‘Oh my God, I can’t believe he's even alive,’” Jesse said. “I mean, that was a miracle itself.”

Friends have started a GoFundMe for Jacob's medical expenses. As of Thursday night, they had raised more than $20,000.


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