DENVER (CBS4) - A man seriously injured by falling boulders near Carbondale on Monday is still in serious condition after two major surgeries at a Denver hospital.
David Pixler, 49, was hurt on state highway 82 when boulders, some 6 feet in diameter, tumbled onto state highway 82 west of highway 133. His family said witnesses reported Pixler's van hit one of the rocks head-on. He was pinned behind the steering wheel and suffered multiple internal injuries and broken bones.
"You hear about them all the time, but you never think it will happen to somebody in your family in or somebody you love," Pixler's sister, Stacy Pinnt, said.
She said Pixler underwent two surgeries, a six-hour one on Tuesday and one nearly three hours long on Wednesday night.
She said Pixler, who is from Grand Junction, was traveling alone for work.
"I hate to say it, but you immediately think the worst," Pinnt said.
The Colorado Department of Transportation said rock slides aren't uncommon, but Monday's accident is rare.
"It was not expected in that area at all because there's not a history of rockfall in the area," spokesman Bob Wilson said. A team of geologists will examine the area to determine what triggered the slide and if additional mitigation needs to be added.
Pinnt thanked one witness in a car behind Pixler who stayed with him until emergency crews arrived.
"I just want to thank them from the bottom of my heart. They don't know what that means to our family."
Pixler is a 27-year military veteran. His sister said he is the kind of person who would help someone no questions asked.
Family and friends set up a GoFundMe profile to help with his recovery.
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