Horrific motorcycle accident sparks fundraising campaign

GoFundMe for crash victims

The daughter of well-known local dance and fitness instructor Elle Cassidy and Elle's husband Jay, who were seriously injured in a motorcycle accident in Osoyoos on July 6, started a GoFundMe page which quickly exceeded its original goal barely two days after it was created.

On the fundraiser page, Kaylee Gordon details the serious accident involving a truck hauling a trailer which hit the couple's motorcycle broadside on Hwy. 97. The crash happened at the edge of Osoyoos, in front of the Co-op gas station. Kaylee's father Jay was rushed by ambulance to Penticton, while her mother, Elle, was airlifted to Kelowna Hospital due to the severity of her injuries.

She says her dad suffered serious multiple breaks to the left side of his body including multiple injuries to his leg, ribs, wrist, the palm effectively torn off his hand, along with serious leg and ankle injuries.

She says her mom had several severe injuries to her left leg and foot, including a broken femur in two spots, shattered tibia and fibula, hand trauma from being launched off the bike and landing face first on the pavement, and head trauma as well.

Kaylee writes that her dad is now home, and over nine weeks after the accident is trying his best to recover from his injuries. He is currently wheelchair-bound until he regains enough strength to walk again.

Elle is still in the hospital and as a result of her extensive injuries, her left leg was amputated above the knee, and Kaylee notes she will "never truly walk the way she used to".

"That mental anguish alone is enough, however she also remembers every moment of the accident, the sounds, the pain, the trauma leading to the amputation of her leg," she says.

Elle was a fitness instructor for the last 20 years dancing and teaching others.

Writing on her Facebook page, Elle says: "This accident has changed our lives forever and I have also lost my ability to teach dance classes as I used to as well. While we are fighters and will do our best to find a new normal, it will never be the same."

She adds that it feels "strange" to post a message asking for help "as we are not ones to ask for help and instead are often the ones giving it, but I realize that we could use the support."

She adds that this is both a loss of income and a serious blow to her passion for dance because of losing her leg.

Kaylee continues, underscoring her parents have been through substantial physical and mental trauma. "They will continue to have a long road ahead of them to rehabilitate after their accident. All of this because someone made the stupid decision to be impatient and make an unsafe left turn," she writes.

She also expresses the family's frustration that as a result of the Insurance Company of BC's (ICBC) pivot to "no-fault" insurance they are unable to privately sue the driver who hit them and "changed their lives forever".

"Even though their lives will never be the same, no lawyers can/will help them as their hands are tied by this legislation."

With her dad travelling back and forth to visit her mom in Kelowna, she notes that ICBC is only willing to cover some of the costs and she foresees the expenses mounting over the next year or more as they navigate their challenging new lifestyle as a result of their serious injuries.

"My parents are incredible people," Kaylee says. "They run an online blog supporting local community, businesses and restaurants and spread joy and community wherever they go. They are selfless individuals who will never ask for help because they would rather give it.

"I ask that you please think of my family and what we’ve all been through. This journey is still underway with many curbs and roadblocks. Time simply will not fix what has happened here. We will continue to move forward because we don’t have a choice. Thank you and lots of love always," Kaylee signs off.

The GoFundMe campaign can be found here, or by simply searching on the GoFundMe page for "Elle and Jay's Motorcycle Accident".

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