Wednesday, March 29, 2023
Home Woman business ‘Wayne’s a special guy’: B.C. community comes together for resident paralyzed in...

‘Wayne’s a special guy’: B.C. community comes together for resident paralyzed in car crash

Friends and family members of a man who was left paralyzed after a crash last year are coming together to help raise more money for his care.

On Feb. 21, 2022, Wayne Wiltse suffered catastrophic injuries when he was on his way to work as a director of lift maintenance at Whistler Blackcomb.

His car collided with an RCMP cruiser travelling northbound.

Wiltse spent three months in Vancouver General Hospital and is still undergoing physiotherapy at G.F. Strong Rehabilitation Centre.

His community of supporters now wants to raise money to help with home renovations and the purchase of significant accessibility equipment, including the purchase of a sprinter van.

“We’re here because life changes so quickly sometimes,” friend Doug Forseth told Global News. “This time, almost a year ago, Wayne got up, had breakfast, started off to work and minutes later life had changed for him immensely.

Story continues below advertisement

“He’s lucky to be alive. We’re happy that he is. We’re happy to see him fight back through all of this (to) make the best of it.”

Click to play video: 'Lower Mainland mother and daughter team up to raise money and send a message'

Lower Mainland mother and daughter team up to raise money and send a message

The Independent Investigations Office (IIO) of B.C. investigated the collision and found Wiltse “crossed entirely from his southbound lane into the northbound lane. The officer was completely within his own lane of travel and not responsible for the collision or the resulting injuries of the other driver.”

The investigation has now concluded.

But for Wiltse and his family, the road to recovery and rehabilitation will be a long one.

“Wayne’s a special guy,” Forseth said. “I worked with him for over 25 years. He was a leader of people in a very kind and gentle way.”

Story continues below advertisement

He said Wiltse just encouraged people to work hard through kindness and understanding and he has had an impact on so many people’s lives.

Melissa Hollis, a friend and fellow organizer, also worked with Wiltse for many years at Whistler Blackcomb.

“(He) and his wife Annette have always been wonderful to be around,” she said. “It’s great to see how the whole Sea-to-Sky community has come together in so many ways.”

Read more:

B.C. law student launches ‘Slava Sweatshirts’ fashion line to raise money for Ukraine

Read next:

Boy picks shipping container for hide-and-seek, ends up 2,500 km from home

Hollis added that the skiing community across the province has rallied to help Wiltse and his family.

The auction to raise money for his recovery includes items such as a gondola (yes, an actual gondola), concert tickets, clothing and more.

A GoFundMe has also been set up to raise money through donations.

Forseth said they have had donations from people who do not even know Wiltse but have just heard about him through others.

“That’s where this money is going,” he said. “It’s going towards his new life and to help him all get set up with what he needs.”


&copy 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Most Popular

Short film about growing up Chinese in Metro Vancouver up for U.S. national award

Descrease article font size Increase article font size A Coquitlam man’s short film about growing up Chinese in Metro Vancouver has been nominated for a national...

100% of women living in DTES tents report experiencing violence, survey finds

A non-profit organization committed to ending violence against women says a first-of-its-kind survey has painted a shocking yet realistic picture of life for women...

Call of the Wilde: Montreal Canadiens’ road trip excitement stalls with 3-2 loss to Flyers

After a thrilling overtime win over the Sabres in Buffalo on Monday night, it was a quick jump to Philadelphia to complete the two-game...

Downtown Vancouver businesses flag safety concerns in wake of deadly stabbing

Businesses in downtown Vancouver are speaking out about their mounting crime and safety concerns, in the wake of a fatal daylight stabbing that has...