As motorcyclist Kasey LaVine traveled south on George Washington Highway, a northbound driver turned left in front of him.
LaVine doesn’t remember the Sept. 18 crash, but the medical expenses incurred because of it are hard to ignore. Now the Deep Creek Ruritan Club has planned a barbecue fundraiser to help.
On the day of the collision, LaVine, 23, rode his motorcycle to the Bayside Harley-Davidson store in Portsmouth while a friend followed behind him.
His bike needed work. He’d planned to drop it off at the shop and hitch a ride home with his friend.
But according to his dad, Kim LaVine, 63, staff informed his son that the shop only works on Harley-Davidsons and Kasey’s wasn’t one.
So Kasey LaVine headed home, and his friend followed again – and witnessed the crash. After it happened, the friend immediately called Kasey’s father.
“I actually got there before they had Kasey on the stretcher,” Kim LaVine said. “He was laying there, and they were working on him. I just didn’t know what to think.”
His mother, Suzann LaVine, 55, thought the worst, she said.
“Our oldest son came to the house and picked me up,” she said. “We got to the hospital before Kasey did.”
She stood beside the ambulance while a medic helped carry him out.
“I said, ‘Is my son going to be ok?’ (The medic) said ‘We’re going to try to do everything we can for him,’ ” she said.
Doctors at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital induced a coma and diagnosed the damage: a broken neck, broken ribs, a bruised heart, a bruised lung and a brain injury.
His support system stepped up.
“The first week he was there, (his friends) skipped school and work,” Kim LaVine said. “We had the waiting room packed.”
Hospital staff had to intubate him twice.
“At one point, he was only taking one breath per minute and the machine was doing the rest,” Suzann LaVine said.
Then Kasey, who is a machine operator, started making progress.
When he learned about the crash, he had questions.
“How’s the other guy? Is he OK?” Suzann said he asked. “He’s got a great heart.”
After weeks in the ICU followed by rehab, Kasey LaVine’s prognosis is better than she expected.
The broken bone in his neck “won’t paralyze him, but he has to wear a collar for eight to 12 weeks,” his father said.
He has double vision. He can feel his left arm, but he can’t move it.
“But we can live with all that,” Suzann LaVine said. “He survived.”
Mike Kirsch, a past president of the Deep Creek Ruritan Club who planned the barbecue benefit, hopes the money raised will help him thrive.
“We know it’s not going to be enough to take care of everything, but at least it’ll put a dent in it, we hope,” Kirsch said.
Kim and Suzann LaVine own a tax service, he said. “They’ve been doing my taxes for years.”
When he heard their son had been hurt in a crash, he knew the club could help.
“It’s a community service group,” he said. “We’ve been helping people in the community for 70 years.”
The event he’s planned will be a barbecue held at the organization’s clubhouse. For $ 10, attendees can eat pulled pork, cole slaw, beans and rolls, and have tea or lemonade to drink.
The LaVines were surprised and touched by the gesture.
“There were no words,” Suzann LaVine said.
She feels the same about her son’s recovery.
“It’s a miracle,” she said. “We have prayer warriors all over the country.”