A former TSU baseball standout critically injured in a car accident on Monday is showing signs of improvement, his friends say. 

Twenty-five-year-old Francisco Rodriguez, a special education assistant at Gilbert Intermediate, was airlifted to Texas Health Fort Worth where he remains in a coma.

“He is still heavily sedated, but is stabilized,” Victor Sauceda, a friend and co-worker of Rodriguez’s, told the E-T on Thursday. “His lungs and his breathing are improving.”

An account has been set up at TexasBank to help the family with medical bills and other expenses. 

Sauceda said friends and co-workers have rallied to help Rodriguez’s family, who is from Venezuela, obtain housing while they are here.

“Frankie’s parents arrived (in Texas) on Tuesday,” Sauceda said. 

Rodriguez was on his way to a Christmas party on U.S. Hwy. 281 on Monday when he was struck from behind by a Chevrolet pickup driven by 23-year-old Brian Kelly of Commerce. 

Rodriguez’s Dodge Charger was pushed into oncoming traffic and struck by a Western Star commercial vehicle.  

Rodriguez played baseball for Tarleton State University and is currently working on his master’s degree.