Caitlyn Evans is hoping classmate Jesse Brown will be well enough to come back to school at Peterson Road Elementary School in Langley in the new year.
News that Jesse was badly hurt in a hit-and-run while walking home from classes rocked the entire school, Caitlyn said.
“It was really sad,” Caitlyn told the Langley Advance Times.
“He’s a really nice kid.”
Caitlyn, 10, and some friends were selling eco-scrunchies at the third annual Peterson Road Elementary craft fair held on Saturday, Nov. 23.
Organizers decided to donate all the revenue from admissions, vendor fees and the concession to the Brown family.
A rough tally put the amount raised at more than $6,000, said Shannon Twiss, one of the organizers.
“It was a great day,” Twiss commented.
Peterson Road Elementary Parent Advisory Council (PAC) PAC president Kristy Sayers said when people were told admission was by donation and the money would be going to the family of Jesse Brown, they dug deep.
“Several $100 bills were popped in there,” she recounted.
More donations are expected next week.
There are also plans to launch an online fundraiser for the family in coming weeks, with other initiatives planned for the new year, Sayers added.
Jesse’s father, Tony Brown expressed thanks on behalf of the family.
“Our hearts [go out] to all of them,” Brown said.
“That was great, what they did. They’ve really got Jesse’s back.”
For two months after Jesse went to hospital, parents from the school dropped by the Brown home every day with meals for the family, he recalled.
Brown described how Jesse, who currently needs a wheelchair to get around, is working hard at rehab, doing more than he is asked to do.
“He just wants to get back to the way it was,” Brown related.
Jesse is still in hospital and the family has been told it may be several months before he can come home.
In the new year, the dad said the family is planning to campaign to change the laws about serious injury accidents.
He thinks people will be “shocked” when they learn how minor the penalties can be.
“We’re going to make lots of noise,” Brown said.
Jesse suffered multiple broken bones in his face, a broken arm, and fractures to his back on Sept. 13 when he was struck walking home from Peterson Road Elementary, where he is a Grade 7 student.
He was in surgery for 11 hours.
After the vehicle involved fled the scene, police arrested a 29-year-old woman and issued her with an administrative driving prohibition.
Langley RCMP reported the suspect was given a demand for a breath sample by a police officer, and initially refused. She provided samples later in the evening that showed she exceeded the legal blood alcohol limit.
A male passenger in the vehicle was also arrested, for allegedly attempting to hide the car.
Police said the same vehicle, believed to be a Nissan Pathfinder, also struck an 18-year-old near Langley Secondary School the same afternoon. That victim required medical care but was treated and released from the hospital the same day.
Tony Brown said police have advised that charges likely won’t be laid for several months.