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Area accident victims in need of help

November 04, 1999

It was Saturday, Oct. 16, a little bit after lunchtime and Bambi Aydelotte and her fiancee Donald Glaze were taking a ride in the Washington County countryside in their Honda Civic station wagon with their two children.

"We went from Kieffer Funk Road to White Hall Road and then over to Beaver Creek Church," she said, adding that they were about half a mile from the Dual Highway when it happened.

According to Deputy David Izat, Aydelotte's vehicle collided with a late 1980s Ford Mustang, in what he called an "offset head-on collision." Not a pure head-on crash, but given the relative size of the vehicles - the Mustang with its big engine hitting the left front corner of the smaller Honda - probably one of the worst ways it could have happened, Izat said.

Aydelotte was driving, but said she doesn't remember the crash itself.

"I remember being in the emergency room. I was in and out of it. They told me we arrived at about 10 minutes until 1 p.m. in the afternoon," she said.

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Izat said Aydelotte and her boyfriend were transported only after being cut out of the wreckage.

"When I got there they were being worked on by the paramedics," Izat said.

Once at the hospital, Aydelotte underwent surgery, including some plastic surgery, to fix damage to her nose and face. Then doctors wired her knee together, "because my kneecap had gotten broken real bad."

She also has four breaks in her left arm, which she said is now held together with a series of plates and screws.

Her fiancee fared little better.

"He has plates in his left arm and they had to rebuild his kneecap. His right lung had a tear in it and his left lung had holes in it and they told us it was like someone had shot it with a shotgun," she said.

All this occurred despite the fact that they were wearing seatbelts, which Aydelotte said is not an option for her passengers, but "a law in my vehicle."

The children, strapped into child safety seats in the rear of the vehicle, came through with little more than scratches, she said.

Both Aydelotte and Glaze, unfortunately, have jobs that don't allow them to work sitting down. She works at Wendy's restaurant on the Dual Highway while he's with a local roofing company.

Both face extensive therapy and have been ordered to stay off their feet as much as possible, no small task when you're trying to keep up with a 2-year-old and a 3-year-old.

"Right now I have trouble getting up and moving around, and my fiancee can't walk at all," she said, adding that to cope, they've moved in with his mother, Beverly Lewis.

"We're very grateful that his mother took us in," she said.

Aydelotte has completed one week of in-patient therapy at the hospital, and starts out-patient treatment this week.

"I have to do that twice a week, to exercise my leg and my arm, to get used to using them again," she said.

Neither Aydelotte or Glaze has medical insurance, so they're not sure how they're going to pay the bills they know will come due.

"We're trying to get medical assistance," she said, and Glaze's sister and her grandfather have taken steps to set up a trust fund for their medical bills through Hagerstown Trust.

A check with Hagerstown Trust officials confirmed that anyone can donate money to that account at any branch just by informing tellers that it's a donation for the Bambi Aydelotte/Donald Glaze fund.

As for an official determination of who's at fault in this situation, Deputy Izat said the investigation is continuing.

What is certain is these two young people will need a lot of help before it's all over, because as someone who's worked in a fast-food restaurant and who's some spent time tearing shingles off a roof, that's tough work, even for healthy people. I can't imagine that climbing a ladder with a roll of tar paper would be part of any doctor's recommendations for recovery.

And while the plight of these two people may stir some readers to think about the need for universal health insurance, the truth is that debate will continue far into the next national election campaign. These folks need help now, so if you're near a Hagerstown Trust branch and can spare a few bucks, they would be grateful.




Bob Maginnis is Opinion page editor for the Herald-Mail Newspapers

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