Community Raises $46K After Man Survives Crash That Destroyed His Food Truck: 'We Lost Everything'

TMJ4 News/YouTube

The Gumbo Valley food truck was hit by a car on Feb. 26, 2024

A GoFundMe for Andre Richards, the owner of the Gumbo Valley food truck that was rear-ended by another vehicle, has raised over $46,000 as of Friday afternoon

  • Andre Richards was inside his parked food truck when it was destroyed by a crash in Milwaukee on Monday night

  • “By the grace of God, [he] sustained no physical injuries,” according to a GoFundMe fundraiser

  • More than $46,000 has been raised via the campaign as of Friday afternoon

A Milwaukee man is planning to rebuild his gumbo restaurant after his parked food truck was destroyed in a crash on Monday night.

The Milwaukee Police Department said in a release obtained by PEOPLE that a vehicle driven by a 28-year-old woman rear-ended the food truck on E. Capitol Drive and N. Holton Avenue.

The department added that there were no injuries and the driver, who was not named, was arrested on suspicion of operating while intoxicated. Police said they are investigating the incident.

Andre Richards, the owner of the Gumbo Valley food truck, said that he lost a piece of his dream that day, ABC affiliate WISN reported.

Related: Tx. Teen Who Survived Being Hit in 2019 DUI Crash Dies After Being Hit by Suspected Drunk Driver

Richards, who said he ran his business on Capitol Drive for three years, said that he was flung to the front when the crash happened and that everything went dark, per CBS affiliate WDJT. “I saw lights and it just seemed unreal at the time,” he told the outlet.

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“I tried to make it to my feet tried to crawl out, I had to end up eventually coming through the front because I couldn’t get through the back," he told NBC station WJTM.

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Carolyn Simmons, Richards' mother, was on the phone with her son when the incident happened. “Oh mom, they just hit me and I'm trapped in this truck,'" WISN reported.

"We lost everything, that's five years' worth of work gone because someone wanted to speed," she added.

Richards said that it took him 14 months to build his business but he doesn’t bear a grudge against the driver of the other vehicle.

Related: 3-Year-Old Girl Dies in Multi-Vehicle Crash Just a 'Few Short Miles from Home' in New Jersey

"I'm alive, she's alive,” Richards told WISN. “It's [an] unfortunate situation. I don't wish bad, nothing on nobody.”

A GoFundMe campaign launched following the crash has raised over $46,000 as of Friday afternoon, exceeding its original goal of $10,000.

“By the grace of God, [he] sustained no physical injuries,” per the fundraiser description. “Though his physical state is still in good condition, his place of business is now totaled! This unfortunate circumstance will most likely leave him & his staff out of work for a while.”

Gumbo Valley also posted a message of thanks to its supporters on Facebook, writing, “when life gives us lemons we make southern lemonade.”

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