Alamance County, NC-- Carl Wheeler and his family's lives were changed forever on July 24th. That's when Carl stopped to help two brothers broken down on the side of the road. As they pushed the van, Curtis Lutterloh, a drunk driver slammed into them going 65 miles per hour. Darren Jones died. Carl Wheeler lost his leg, had brain damage and can barely talk or move. His mom, Esther quit her job to stay by her son's side around the clock.
Ever since News 2 told this story, hundreds of our viewers have reached out to us asking how to help. On Wednesday night, we were part of something special , letting the Wheelers know how much the Triad cares.
News 2 had the privilege of surprising Esther Wheeler and her family outside on Wednesday evening.
But we also had a camera inside to capture Carl's reaction.
For the entire Wheeler family, seeing that brand new van roll down the driveway gives their son and brother, Carl, hope for a new beginning. While Esther cried tears of joy on our airwaves, we stayed inside with the man all of this is for. Carl Wheeler cried out along with his family as he watched the news as everything played out live.
A new van drove up his driveway. Inside was a new motorized wheelchair and transportable bed, making it possible for Carl to leave his current bed. In between tears, Carl who barely communicates, managed to offer a few thumbs up.
But before the day really got underway and News 2 prepped for an on-location newscast, Esther Wheeler embraced the Jones family. Esther Wheeler and Alice Jones held each other a long time. Their lives are forever linked because of what one drunk driver did to their sons. The Jones family even met Carl for the very first time, the man who stopped to help their sons.
But when the day was over, the show wrapped, the surprises were through, it was just a mom talking to her son. Esther looked into her son's eyes and said:
"I told you God's going to send us some angels to help us and that's what he did. God sent us some angels."
"Carl is going to come through this and he's going to be the man that he were before."
"Let's keep the faith, you understand what I'm talking about? Let's keep the faith, Carl."
WFMY News 2