Jul 29, 2011 1:30 AM by Danielle Lerner

Local triathlon community comes together to help couple involved in moving truck accident

The local triathlon community is rallying together to help the couple whose moving truck rolled over and caught fire Tuesday morning.

It happened on Highway 101 between Betteravia and Stowell in Santa Maria. Officers say it all started when the drivers of two cars directly in front of the truck suddenly hit their brakes. The driver of the truck, 32-year-old Jamie Guerra, was not hurt but flames destroyed most of his and his girlfriend's belongings.

Now friends and even complete strangers are stepping up to help. While reading about the story, Meredith Rich and the team at Tri-California Events just happened to notice one of their tote bags in Jamie's hand. He got it competing in their Wildflower Triathlon back in May.

"The triathlon community in general is really supportive and it's a really close-knit community," said Rich, the company's promotions director . "We just gave him a call and wanted to see if there was anything we could do to help him."

They spread the word and encouraged people to donate during Farmer's Market. The company also donated some of its gear, knowing Jamie has an event this weekend.

"Just some basic running caps because triathletes always need that, as well as goggles so kind of a staple for his swims," Rich said.

For Jamie and his girlfriend this week has been a whirlwind.

"Smoke is pretty powerful and it definitely ruined and soaked a lot of stuff," said Guerra.

However they are overwhelmed and forever grateful for the outpouring of support.

"We're just so lucky to come home to a community that welcomes us with much more than we ever had," said Guerra. "I'm so proud that we can both call this home."

Tri-California is offering $30 off registration fees for the upcoming Scott Tinley Adventure Triathlons at Lopez Lake for anyone who donates. You can find more information in the Newslinks section of ksby.com On Thursday they raised $100 for Guerra and his girlfriend.


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