VANCOUVER, B.C.: A Fall River man seriously injured in a freak motor vehicle collision in late August in Vancouver, B.C. that left a husband and wife dead and two others injured is touched by the support he’s received from back home.
Steve Yorke, a web developer, was walking home on Seymour Street from a day at work like he had done many times before. Only this time, he wouldn’t make it home. Instead he landed up in Vancouver General Hospital, where he remains.
“I just made the crosswalk, I was on the sidewalk and out of the corner of my eye I saw a white SUV kind of hop the curb,” recalled Yorke in an interview with The Laker on Sept. 12. “It looked like it was going to collide either with a telephone pole or tree. That’s the last thing I remember before waking up flat on back with people around me keeping me stable, letting me know what had happened, and keeping me calm.”
He relayed what he was told happened.
“The impact of the vehicle crashed into the telephone pole and then collided into a tree with enough force that it split the tree in half. The tree is what smashed down on me,” he said.
The driver and passenger in the SUV—Matthew and Melissa Ma, 78 and 70-years-old—died at the scene.
Among Yorke’s injuries are: a severed Achilles tendon in two places; a fractured pelvis in three places; his right femur snapped in half and his tibia was as Yorke eloquently described it “split down the middle, kind of like a tree struck by lightning.”
His fiancee Kristy McLeod, from Bedford, has been at his hospital bedside every day. That has helped alleviate any concerns from his parents back in Fall River, who may fly out in October to help him out.
Yorke said getting support from the other side of the country has been a great help so far in his rehabilitation.
“I just want the people back home, a lot of my old friends that have been thinking about me, I want then to know I have seen their messages,” he said. “I find it really touching that they’re thinking about me.”
Because Yorke works on a contract basis, he doesn’t have medical benefits. As a result, his colleagues have setup a GoFundMe page to raise money for his needs, which sits at $15,835 of a $50,000 goal as of Sept. 12. To donate, just go to www.GoFundMe.com and search for Steve Yorke.
“My co-workers started the page on my behalf knowing there’s going to be a lot of long-term type bills, and the apartment I live in is an older building and not wheelchair accessible so we’re going to have to move,” he said. “We’re sort of overwhelmed and humbled by the amount of support people have given.”
Yorke doesn’t dwell on the thought of what could have been if he had done things differently before the crash.
“You don’t want to run things through your head on ‘if I had spent a couple more minutes at work or if I had stopped to get a coffee,’” said Yorke. “It’s hard to dwell on those things. The matter of 10 seconds would have made all the difference. I would have been in a completely different position on the sidewalk.”
He said looking back he wouldn’t change his walk home that day.
“You don’t want to get lost in the thought of ‘if only I had been…” Those are things you don’t want to spend too much time thinking about,” he said. “It all comes down to timing and being in the wrong spot at the absolute wrong moment.”
Doctors have suggested to Yorke that he not work until December. But he—nor McLeod—are rushing things.
“The good news is I don’t necessarily need the full use of my legs to do my work, I just need to be able to sit,” Yorke said. “The doctors are really impressed with my progress, but it’s going to be a long road.”
A long road that is made easier by the support of many, especially those who have donated on the GoFundMe page.