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Valley couple still recovering after getting hit while changing tire

Posted at 4:47 PM, Feb 02, 2023

“I was there every day, and I’m still here every day,” said Amanda Araiza.

She hasn’t left her fiancé’s side since mid-December.

Robert Elbie’s life was forever changed as he was trying to help Araiza with her tire on the side of Interstate 17.

Video in the player above includes previous coverage of the couple's crash.

The couple was hit by another driver, but Elbie's injuries were much worse than Araiza's.

“These are things you see in movies, and now we're in this nightmare together,” said Araiza.

She said Elbie has had issues with his memory and doctors have told them it could take months for his brain injury to improve.

After weeks in the hospital, Elbie is now at an in-patient rehab facility in Glendale learning how to live again.

“They taught him how to eat, how to speak again because he lost his voice for a while,” said Araiza.

Elbie is even adjusting to having one leg after part of his left had to be amputated.

“It’s a miracle that you’re alive, and you’ve come this far.” That’s what Araiza makes sure to remind her fiancé.

Videos from Araiza show Elbie getting stronger.

On Wednesday, he was even able to speak with ABC15.

“I’m feeling OK. Ready to go home soon, so that’s good,” said Elbie.

Araiza quit her job to be by Elbie’s side.

She said both of their cars are totaled and are still with the Department of Public Safety.

On top of all of this, they have two kids at home.

“There are going to be a lot of things that are going to be different,” said Araiza.

DPS did submit charging recommendations for the other driver, including DUI, assault, aggravated assault, endangerment, and criminal damage.

ABC15 is working to learn if that diver has been officially charged.

“It hurts him to see him like this,” said Araiza. “It hurts me that he’s going through all this pain all because someone was selfish and got behind the wheel.”

They were hoping to get married this year, but they are now planning to wait until 2024 so Elbie can heal.

A GoFundMe has been organized to help support the couple.

So far, they have used the money raised for medical bills and to make Elbie comfortable when he returns home.