Wed 23 Sep 2009
Last Thursday when I dropped by Linda Petersen’s temporary digs, Tim Weed and Debbie Daly were entertaining the recuperating crash victim with a mix of country and folk music.
The Point Reyes Station couple are among many people who have stepped forward to help Linda, ad manager of The West Marin Citizen, since her horrific wreck June 13 near Motel Inverness. A dozen West Marin residents have been taking turns cooking meals for her, and several have provided her with transportation.
Linda suffered 11 broken ribs, two broken vertebrae, two broken ankles, a broken leg, a broken kneecap, a broken arm, and a punctured lung when she fell asleep at the wheel and hit a utility pole. The injuries required three months of hospitalization, including seven weeks wearing a steel-and-carbon halo that immobilized her head and neck.
Linda was released from the hospital Aug, 22 and has been temporarily staying in ground-floor quarters at Karen Gray’s place in Point Reyes Station prior to moving into an upstairs apartment.
For the past month, Linda has been living out of boxes and is excited about the prospect of settling into her new apartment as soon as she can regularly climb the stairs.
Linda, 61, who works at the front desk in The Citizen office, can by now walk short distances with just a cane, and West Marin Senior Services has loaned her an electric scooter to get around town.
By chance, Missy Patterson, 82, who works at the front desk of the competing Point Reyes Light, also uses a scooter to get around downtown. The coincidence has led more than a few townspeople to suggest the two have a race.
“Missy said she would beat me, which is probably true,” Linda told me with a laugh. “Her scooter is bigger and more powerful.” Missy (seen here in the 2005 Western Weekend Parade) had started out with a donated scooter but a few years back moved up to a high-performance model.
Linda during her hospitalization accumulated several thousand dollars worth of bills that her insurer, Kaiser Permanente, is refusing to cover. To help raise money to pay those bills, a benefit with food, drinks, and entertainment will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 18, at Toby’s Feed Barn. More about this later…