CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - A GoFundMe account has been set up for a retired Cincinnati firefighter who nearly died in a crash with a man authorities call "a menace to society.
The fund was established Sunday and already has raised $1,215 toward its $4,000 goal.
"Bill DeRemer is a retired Cincinnati fireman, a Vietnam era Air Force veteran, long-time volunteer at the Cincinnati Fire Museum, and all round good guy.
In recent years, he has weathered the loss of both his wife and a daughter. He and his youngest daughter Jenny live in the small community of Bridgetown, Ohio.
"Bill has been a giver all his life...as a veteran serving his country and as a firefighter for 28 years. He has faithfully volunteered at the Cincinnati Fire Museum for 35 years.
"He is now in need of help himself.
"On January 11, 2018, Bill had just left his home to drive to the store when he was hit broadside by another vehicle doing over 70 mph. His car rolled several times, became airborne, and struck a house in a violent impact. Bill had to be extricated from the car.
"To add insult to injury, the vehicle that hit him was stolen and was being driven by a man who was fleeing the police, likely impaired, and a felon convicted of multiple offenses.
"Bill was in a coma for a week and though his daughter and friends are beginning to see encouraging signs of improvement, he faces many months of rehabilitation and medical treatment for his serious injuries before he can go home.
"This GoFundMe page is an attempt to help him with his many medical bills and with some changes that will need to be made to his home to make it possible for his return.
"Please consider making a donation.
"He's been a giver all his life; now he needs our help."
DeRemer suffered 13 broken ribs; broken pelvis, broken sternum, broken collarbone, broken bones in his back, bleeding on his brain and broken bone in his sinus cavity as well as multiple lacerations that had to be stitched up, according to his daughter, Jenny DeRemer.
The crash has his relatives and friends calling for more jail space and tougher penalties that will keep non-violent, repeat offenders locked up so they do not continue to put the pubic at risk or, as in DeRemer's case, severely hurt or, as in the Elder teacher's situation, kill them.
He was transferred Friday from the intensive care unit at University of Cincinnati Medical Ceter to the Drake Center, where he is expected to undergo extensive rehabilitation. On Saturday, family and friends rallied around as he celebrated his 78th birthday hospitalized.
Every day, he shows more progress, his daughter said.
"Dad is doing good! He keeps mouthing to me that he wants to get up and walk, which he can't, because he's non weight bearing due to the pelvis surgery," she wrote in an update on the GoFundMe page Monday.
"He's already getting back to his old antsy, can't sit still self!!!! (Gee, I'm not his daughter am I, LOL) He also keeps asking for water, so hopefully he'll be allowed to drink some soon!!! I'm definitely feeling hopeful!!!!! Thank you God for all your answered prayers!"
If you'd like to donate you can visit his GoFundMe page at https://www.gofundme.com/ff-vet-bill-deremer-needs-your-help