Community aids man injured in crash
A Depauw man who was critically injured Aug. 24 when his ATV crashed into a deer is recovering at University Hospital in Louisville.
Trevor Whittaker, 33, underwent another surgery yesterday morning (Tuesday), this time to reconstruct his clavicle.
His wife, the former Lynn Kellum, who has been updating family and friends through social media, reported that Whittaker was moved Monday from the Intensive Care Unit to another wing of the hospital.
The crash occurred near the intersection of Mount Tabor and John Smith roads north of Depauw as Whittaker was riding his new ATV to his job at Van Winkle Tire Service in Ramsey. He sustained several broken ribs, a broken collarbone, a bruised spleen and a serious head injury.
‘I am learning more and more each day about brain injury patients and am realizing that this is going to be an extremely long and slow process,’ his wife said. ‘Keep those prayers coming!’
Firefighters and others in the community rallied around the family by setting up roadblocks Saturday in New Salisbury, Corydon and Palmyra.
‘Someone told me we were going to get wet,’ said Randy Fessel, a firefighter with Harrison Township Volunteer Fire Dept. who organized the roadblocks and conducted an impromptu roadblock Friday in Corydon. ‘I told them the only thing we were going to get was the floodgates of people’s generosity opening up.’
The remnants of Hurricane Isaac produced some rain showers Saturday during the roadblocks, but nothing like what Hurricane Ike sent Southern Indiana a few years ago.
Fessel said he wanted to help provide the Whittakers (Trevor and Lynn have two sons) with financial assistance so they can focus on Trevor’s rehabilitation.
‘He’s dedicated 15 years of service’ as a volunteer firefighter, going when needed ‘at the drop of a hat,’ Fessel said. ‘Now, he’s in need. We’re asking people to help him, and they’ve done that.’
Saturday’s event netted about $16,000, and that’s before two five-gallon buckets of change were counted yesterday at First Harrison Bank, where an account has been established in Whittaker’s name.
Several people who dropped money into the collection buckets made comments about personally knowing Whittaker as their mechanic or a firefighter. He also formerly volunteered as a reserve officer with the Harrison County Sheriff’s Dept.
That’s why Mike Gregory volunteered his time Saturday and, with Sheriff Rodney (Rod) Seelye’s blessing, traveled from each roadblock location to gather the buckets of people’s generosity and deliver them to the firehouse in New Salisbury where the bills and checks were counted, bagged and taken to First Harrison Bank to be deposited in the Whittaker account.
Other fundraising events are being planned. They include:
‘A pancake and sausage breakfast, Sunday, Sept. 16, from 8 a.m. to noon at St. Bernard Catholic Church in Frenchtown. A freewill offering will be accepted. For more information, call Mary Hawkins at 738-1374 or the parish office at 347-2326.
‘An ATV ride, Saturday, Sept. 22, beginning at 11 a.m. For more information, call Brad Knieriem at 267-8001. Additional information will be published once it is finalized.
‘A motorcycle ride, Saturday, Oct. 6, beginning at 11 a.m. at Ramsey Volunteer Fire Dept. Station No. 2 in New Salisbury. There will be concessions and raffles for non-riders, as well. For more information, call Chuck Conrad at 572-3287, Ned Wiseman at 736-6379 or Casey Houser at 267-1872. More details will be published as the date approaches.
‘A softball tournament Oct. 26 through 28 at Friends of Harrison County Youth ball fields in Corydon.