Crash victim facing life without arm, leg
Relatives haven't told Chelsea Gamble's 5-year-old daughter her mom was so seriously injured by an alleged DUII driver that she lost her arm and part of a leg.
"She has no idea yet. That's another battle we'll have to fight," said Jené Gamble, Chelsea Gamble's mother, and grandmother to the little girl.
The girl is staying with her other grandparents as Jené remains by Chelsea's side in the intensive care unit at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland.
"She doesn't know anything yet," Chelsea's cousin Jenifer Havird said of the girl. "She thinks she's staying with her other grandparents for a week of fun. Chelsea wants to be in a better mindset and visual condition before her daughter sees her. It will be very traumatizing and confusing and shocking."
Chelsea, 27, and her boyfriend, Zachary James Toll, 28, both of Klamath Falls, were riding a motorcycle back from the Sutherlin Blackberry Festival when they were struck Sunday evening by a pickup driven by Jose Guadalupe Medina-Galan, 21, of Medford. The crash occurred on North Foothill Road between Medford and White City.
Chelsea's arm and part of her leg were torn off by the force of the collision, according to the Jackson County Sheriff's Office.
Toll was transported to Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center in Medford, where he has undergone two surgeries. His injuries include a broken femur and having his skin torn open along his side, Jené said.
At the hospital, Toll tried to get up to show he could leave and visit Chelsea at the Portland hospital, but he left behind a pool of blood, Jené said.
Medina-Galan is being held in the Jackson County Jail on $250,000 bail. He has been charged with driving under the influence of intoxicants, reckless driving and resisting arrest, plus two counts of second-degree assault and two counts of failing to perform the duties of a driver to an injured person.
Investigators said Medina-Galan may have been driving recklessly while engaged in a road rage incident before the crash. They said he initially stopped near the crash scene to let two passengers out of the pickup, then continued on North Foothill Road. The pickup came to a stop about a half-mile away. It was disabled because of damage sustained in the crash.
Jackson County sheriff's deputies found Medina-Galan, who was allegedly visibly intoxicated and combative, and took him into custody. He was not injured in the crash, the sheriff’s office said.
Havird said family members are very upset and angry, but they're trying to stay positive for Chelsea's sake.
"She's a poster child for why you don't drink and drive. So is Zach," Havird said.
Jené said the family is sad and devastated by Chelsea's condition.
"She has a lot of anger toward the guy. She's always been a fair person. But this time, there is no sympathy for him," Jené said. "This is a horrific thing this one person did."
Jené said Chelsea and Toll lacked health insurance at the time of the crash. The first thing Chelsea said when she woke up was that she was sorry for not having insurance and is now financially ruined. Family members are seeing whether she can sign up for the Oregon Health Plan and other types of assistance.
Supporters have set up an online fundraising account at www.gofundme.com/chelsea-gamble-zack-toll. Donations also can be made at Rogue Credit Union branches under the name of Jené and Chelsea Gamble.
People in the Klamath Falls area can drop off recyclable cans to raise money at the Mirror Image Hair & Nail Salon/National Fitness and Racquet Club, 2524 Crosby Ave., Klamath Falls.
Jené said although her daughter is now missing limbs, Chelsea is determined to return to her job as a warehouse manager in Klamath Falls. Toll is an electrician.
Chelsea's boss is already making accommodations so she can eventually come back to work, Jené said, adding that it will be a difficult process for Chelsea to adapt to her new life because she always has been so active.
"Holding her daughter will be hard," Jené said.
Investigators would like to speak to any witnesses to the crash.
Before the collision, Medina-Galan was allegedly driving recklessly during a road rage incident involving another vehicle on North Foothill Road. The other vehicle was described as a small car, possibly a Mitsubishi Eclipse. Detectives would like to speak with the driver and any passengers who were in the car.
Anyone with information can call Jackson County sheriff’s Detective Steve Bohn at 541-774-6168 in reference to case 17-17771.