No matter how experienced or careful of a rider you are, motorcycle accidents are always a risk. Bad luck can strike even when you aren’t doing anything remotely dangerous. That’s exactly what happened to Phillip Crouch from Las Lunas, NM, who suffered severe injuries in a motorcycle crash in 2022.
Every cloud has a silver lining. The local community organized a hugely successful fundraiser for the New Mexico injured motorcyclist. The more than $15,000 in donations not only helped pay for his medical bills and upgraded safety gear but also enabled him to buy a new bike.
A Work Commute Gone Wrong
One Wednesday in December 2022, Phillip Crouch was waiting patiently at a light on his work commute to the Albertsons store on Main Street in Las Lunas.
Just as the light turned green, a car cut right in front of him, causing Crouch to slam on both handles of the brakes. He managed to avoid the impact, but his bike started skidding and eventually fell to the left.
At first, Crouch didn’t realize he was in critical condition. After an apology from the motorist and a quick check of his bike, he rode a couple more miles to work at Albertsons.
But by the time he walked into the store, he was having chest pain and difficulty breathing. Something wasn’t right. After visiting two urgent cares and an Albuquerque hospital that same afternoon, the motorcycle rider had his diagnosis: three broken ribs and a 1.5-inch puncture in his lung.
The Las Lunas Community Bands Together
It soon became clear that Crouch would require a KLIM Ai-1 Airbag Vest and an upgraded helmet to be able to ride again safely.
Unfortunately, neither he nor his family could afford this kind of equipment — not with the sky-high medical bills that kept on mounting. Crouch’s medical expenses were much higher than expected due to the lack of a police report. The responding officer who attended the scene didn’t write one, as there had been no impact between the vehicles.
Rodney Nelson, Crouch’s stepdad, started a fundraiser for the New Mexico injured motorcyclist to help offset some of the costs. He set a modest $2,000 goal for the inflatable vest and new helmet.
What happened next was beyond anyone’s wildest expectations. The Las Lunas community made a whopping 360 donations in three days. The $2,000 quickly turned to $12,000, then surpassed $15,000. You can still participate here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/phillip-at-albertsons-in-los-lunas-nm.
Laurie Nelson, Phillip Crouch’s mom, said that thanks to the community support, he was able to buy a new bike — a Honda Rebel 1100 DCT — in addition to the upgraded safety gear.
Fifteen Years of Hard Work and Positivity Pay Back
For the last 15 years, the injured rider has been dressing up as an elf and Santa Claus in Albertsons during the holidays. He is well known in the area for the enthusiasm and positivity with which he plays both roles.
Whether he’s cracking jokes or doing impressions, Crouch infuses grocery shopping in Las Lunas with a generous dose of holiday cheer. No wonder the Las Lunas residents were so quick to support the fundraiser for the New Mexico injured motorcyclist.
While Crouch had to miss Christmas in Albertsons in 2022, he plans to return to his beloved job this year.
Were You Involved in a Motorcycle Crash? We Have Your Back.
At Law Tigers, we are a national network of lawyers who represent injured riders and their families. Our lawyers, who are also avid riders, will fight to help you seek compensation. If you were involved in an accident on the road, call Law Tigers at 1-888-863-7216 as soon as possible for a free case evaluation.