It’s been nine days since Stephenville resident Carole Spang was critically injured in a head on collision on U.S. Highway 377.

Now, friends and co-workers are rallying behind Carole and her husband, Walter, as she fights to get well in ICU at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth.

Crystal Rose, who works with Spang at the Cross Timbers Pregnancy Care Center, said Friday that Carole remains in critical condition. Carole underwent surgery last Tuesday and was scheduled for another minor surgery on Friday.

But friends say she is slowly improving.

“I was told she opened her eyes and nodded to her family,” said family friend Terri White. “And that was really good news.”

Carole suffered multiple injuries in the accident that occurred shortly before 9 p.m. on Oct. 12. The Chevrolet pickup she was traveling in with her husband was struck by a van that swerved into their lane. The driver of the van, Billy George “B.J.” McLain, 35, of Stephenville, was killed.

Walter, who is employed at Saint-Gobain Abrasives, was taken by ambulance to Harris Methodist Erath County Hospital where he was treated and released.

Friends have set up a benefit account for the Spangs at TexasBank. Those who would like to help the family are asked to donate to the account or give blood in Carole’s name.

“The community has really come together to offer support,” Rose said. “Not only are they praying for Carole, they are finding ways to help. It’s comforting to know that we live in such a caring community.”

SARA VANDEN BERGE is Managing Editor of the Empire-Tribune. She can be reached at 254-968-2379, ext. 240.