KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Knoxville UPS drivers are supporting a coworker after he was seriously injured in a crash on the job.
In July, Gabe Manning was in a crash with another commercial vehicle on Ball Camp Pike while driving his route for UPS in Knoxville.
One of his coworkers at UPS organized a bowling tournament at Strike and Spare Fountain Lanes with the proceeds going toward his medical expenses. Manning’s sister, April Matthews, said they want to do everything they can to help him get through this difficult time.
“He has always been the positive light in my eyes and he’s always been that type of person who’s a big motivator, and now it’s time for us to be motivating him,” Matthews said.
It’s been more than a month since the crash, but Matthews said the support hasn’t stopped.
“The family’s been overwhelmed by all of the community support we’ve seen so far, we are making sure that Gabe is seeing all of this as well and he is just in awe of how many friends, family, and just the community have come together,” she said.
Manning’s coworker Ricky Spiva organized the tournament, and said he wouldn’t hesitate to do the same for any of his UPS coworkers.
“I think it’s a pretty good bond, they show that they care about their workers but I think it’s more like a family and brothers,” Spiva said.
Another one of Manning’s coworkers and best friends, Marcus Wade, echoed Spivas’s sentiment.
“We’re a family, so we just always support each other no matter what the endeavor is, so you know if somebody needs something we’re just there for them,” Wade said.
Manning hasn’t just seen support from his coworkers, but his customers as well. Matthews said she’s received countless messages from those who encounter her brother while he’s on the job.
“The one story that really touched me was, a customer of his had a three-year-old little boy and they actually came up on the accident and he asked, ‘is that my friend?’ and she said ‘I don’t know but we’re going to pray for him,’ and he’s still praying for him to this day and wrote him some letters,” Matthews said.
The event Sunday also featured an auction and bake sale to benefit Manning. Matthews said her brother is out of the hospital and recovering in a rehab facility. She said he has come a long way since the crash, but has a long road ahead of him, including the possibility of more surgeries.