More than $60,000 has been raised through GoFundMe to support two Cal Poly students who survived a crash, one of whom is now in a medically induced coma.
On April 6, art and design juniors Erica Kemp, Mariana Silverman and Keilani Waxdeck were traveling east on Highway 166 in Santa Maria on the way to Carrizo Plains when a 1992 Honda Accord with a driver and passenger rounded a blind curve and swerved left over a solid yellow line, directly in front of Kemp’s car, according to the California Highway Patrol (CHP).
Waxdeck was airlifted to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital and is currently in a medically induced coma, according to life-long family friend and GoFundMe organizer Nicole Sanchez. Waxdeck will be in the induced coma for at least four months, Kemp said.
Both the driver and passenger in the Honda Accord were pronounced dead at the scene, according to a news release.
Kemp left the car with bruises and gathered approximately 20 people to help in the 15 minutes before an ambulance arrived. Some of the people who stopped to help knew first aid, like art and design junior Sophie Northcott, who stopped to take Silverman’s vitals, Kemp said.
According to Northcott, she helped provide oxygen to Keilani and removed her from the car while interdisciplinary studies junior Olivia Salter called 911.
Liberal arts and engineering studies junior Hailey Koetz also helped Mariana, Northcott said.
Money raised will be returned to the family to help with immediate medical bills and living costs while Waxdeck’s family stays with her in Santa Barbara. The airlift to the hospital is not covered by insurance, and may cost as much as $30,000.
“I burst into tears when it hit $5,000 dollars,” Sanchez said. “It’s such a sad situation but when people rise up and support her like this, it’s amazing to see.”
Silverman was transferred to a physical therapy hospital where she will work on her fractured wrist and hip, Kemp said. It will take two to three months before she can walk, Kemp said.
Waxdeck is a sales representative for Mustang Media Group, Silverman is the president of Mustangs for Israel Public Affairs Committee and Kemp is the owner and creator of Handmade by Erica.
Kemp also started a GoFundMe to help Silverman, which has raised nearly $6,000.
“It means everything to see that support for Mariana and Keilani,” Kemp said.