GoFundMe launched for bike crash survivor Alex Betzel, image of SUV released

Alex Betzel
Alex Betzel

Police have released an image of the vehicle from the hit-and-run crash that critically injured Alex Betzel, 31, on her bike last Wednesday, February 10 in Avondale. Meanwhile, a GoFundMe page has been launched to help pay for Betzel’s recovery expenses.

According to Chicago Police News Affairs, on Wednesday around 2:20 p.m., Betzel was cycling north on the 3500 block on North Kimball Avenue, just south of Addison Street, when a driver in the left hand land struck her while attempting to change lanes to turn right onto Addison. The motorist then ran over Betzel with the back of the vehicle before continuing to flee east on Addison. Betzel was transported to Illinois Masonic Hospital in critical condition.

Yesterday police released an image of the crash, described as dark gray or black 2013-2017 Buick Enclave SUV. People with info about the case are asked to contact the Bureau of Detectives – Major Accident Investigation Unit traffic specialist Officer Moore at 312-745-4521, or leave an anonymous tip at cpdtip.com.

Image of the vehicle.
Image of the vehicle.

Yesterday Betzel’s girlfriend Megan Brennan launched the GoFundMe fundraiser to cover medical bills, legal expenses, and other costs while Betzel recovers. The page had raise more than $13,400 as of this afternoon.

Betzel was on her way home from picking up supplies at Home Depot when she was struck, her family said. According to Brennan, after Betzel was struck, she lost a large amount of blood, requiring a transfusion, and “both her lungs were severely bruised and punctured by her ribs, causing them to fill with blood and one to collapse.” She has nine fractured ribs, including some that were completely displaced, a broken cheek bone, and a wound to her forehead.

While Betzel has been under sedation since the crash, and was previously in a medically-induced coma and is breathing with aid from a ventilator, her girlfriend said that when the is conscious she remembers all the details from the crash. “She could recall that both the front and rear tire drove over her, including her head,” which was covered by a helmet.

Betzel on a ride.
Betzel on a ride.

“Alex is a funny, warm, kind-hearted person who gives so much of herself to help others and fight for the rights of everyone,” Brennan said. Betzel works as a fundraiser for WTTW, and also sews clothing at Uncommon Closet, an inclusive tailor shop. “She is a loyal and caring friend and partner, and for this to happen to any person, it most certainly didn’t need to fall on this amazing woman and her family.”

Brennan said that Betzel’s loved ones believe that, in addition to her physical injuries, she will have PTSD from this trauma and will need specialized therapy to recover psychologically. On top of medical bills, the money raised will be used to cover lawyer fees, lost wages, rent, transportation, and other daily expenses. For those unable to donate money, Betzel’s loved ones are also accepting meal donations coordinated through an online platform.

Brennan thanked the people who have helped out so far, and added that she and Betzel’s family were initially unsure about whether to do a fundraiser. “It is beyond frustrating that a young, healthy woman with health coverage will be indebted for a crash that she was completely innocent in,” she wrote. “Without knowing who the driver was and without this country providing a safety net for these kinds of crashes, nor universal health coverage nor fully-covered short term disability, everything that comes with this life-altering [crash] falls on Alex and her family. We hope that someday Americans won’t have to turn to their family, loved ones or strangers to help cover the costs of a terrible [crash], but until we get working on policy that will protect and provide for all people living in this country, please give what you can.”

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