Dear PoPville – Help Raise Money For Our Friend, Carolina, Severly Injured in Friday’s Storm

Carolina and her parents

Dear PoPville,

A friend of ours was riding home on her motorcycle up 15th on Meridian Hill not knowing the storm was coming this past Friday. A tree fell on her and she is paralyzed from the chest down. We are rallying for as much help as we can get to assist her family with medical bills and relocation to Washington, DC.

A note from her friends:

Carolina was in a terrible accident this past Friday night. She was coming home from Virginia after just getting a massage. It was around 11pm and she was traveling up 15th street on her motorcycle. The storm came in out of nowhere and the winds and debris were terrible. As she was traveling slowly up the hill on 15 near Meridian Hill Park a large pine tree came crashing down on top of her. She was crushed by the tree and knocked off her bike. Thanks to some very amazing people who live across the street they were able to lift the tree off of her and chase down a passing ambulance to get her immediate help. She was rushed to GW hospital. She was in joking spirit when we saw her this morning. She went into surgery this afternoon around 1pm and came out around 7pm. We found out today after surgery that she has a severed spinal chord at T7 and is permanently paralyzed from her chest down. They put 2 rods and numerous screws in her spine for support. She has 5 broken ribs, a fractured shoulder blade, some trauma to her lungs causing bleeding so she will have some assistance breathing overnight and some slight bleeding on her brain and some other minor injuries. She will need some time to recover and should be in the ICU for another few days. She will then be moved to a regular room within the hospital. She will then need rehabilitation to build her upper body strength in order for her to make the adjustments. She has a long road ahead of her and will need a lot of love and support. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers for a speedy recovery.

More info here.

Make donations here.

Meridian Hill Park

20 Comment

  • i was on my motorcycle rushing home from a friends house at the same location minutes before 11pm. it was horrific. i wish all the best!

  • I am so terribly sorry this happened. Wishing Carolina and her family health and love.

  • rave: very lucky I’m safe and we didn’t lose power.

    rant: I absolutely hate this weather. I feel hostage to my home and office when it’s this hot and will be spending the next 2 months basically trying to entertain myself without leaving the house.

  • You are in our thoughts and prayers!!

  • I was paralyzed at the T-3 level 13 years ago with a complete sever. I now live in Southern MD and work in DC. If you need any advice, encouragement or peer support please let me know.

    • Jason is amazing. I love the internet for stories like this, someone seeking help gets support and help. Peace and blessings to all involved.

  • OMG. That’s horrible. I ride a motorcycle and I couldn’t imagine something like this happening to me. There are already enough dangers, but what are the odds a tree would fall on you. Best wishes to her and her family.

  • Poor girl. This could have happened to any of us, the way that storm crept up without much warning. Unless you were glued to The Weather Channel, or knew someone who was, you had no idea this was coming.

    It looks like Carolina is lucky in that she has a strong group of friends and supporters. Hopefully that will give her the strength to recover and get on with her life.

    • DC has a severe weather alert system (among other warnings) that will send you texts and or emails. The warnings for this one were appropriate. But even with that info, I got in the car at 10:30pm to pick up my spouse from work. In retrospect, we should have waited until afterwards since just driving on the street, unlocking the gate, and getting into the house were very dangerous. We were very lucky. Here is the link for those who are interested:

      Our thoughts are with Carolina… this could have happened to anyone.

      • gotryit

        I’ll second that. I got 3 alerts, starting at around 6:30 PM, so we were able to make sure we were all home and inside before it hit.

        • i agree. i also got multiple alerts to my phone and email starting about 4 hours before the storm, regarding the severity of the weather. weather channel and local news also had warnings out early on. i heeded the advanced warnings and decided to stay in. my thoughts are with carolina and her family.

  • If the city had professional staff whose job was to maintain and treat trees, this never would have happened. Other cities/counties do a fantastic job of maintaining and monitoring trees for disease/rotting to prevent power outages and tragic accidents just like this one. Why is this not part of DC public services like trash collection?! Why has there never been accountability for this? DC public officials, like rotted and diseased trees, should be monitored and rooted out before they do harm to innocent victims.

    t yard, right(?), because it was diseased and potentially dangerous) have folks doing the maintenance, with more reason they should do it in DC, with the large tree population….I hate this town!

    • My prayers go to carolina and her loved ones.

      Anonymous, are you sure that these trees fell over because they were diseased? There were really strong winds, 75mph, which might account for some of the trees, not just the diseased ones. There were also rotations over NW, which is pretty rare (at least in history) to have rotations directly over NW Washington. Although the area has seen strong storms, this was still unusual given the strength/speed of the winds and the rotations.

      • Allison

        This is an amateur opinion as I’m not arborist, but I do know some things about pine trees (did a paper in school on hurricane damage in East Texas). Depending on the species, pines typically have extremely long tap roots and flexible thin trunks which should allow them to withstand higher winds than this. The erosion problem in Meridian Hill may have contributed, too.

        My deepest sympathies for Carolina and her family, and hoping for as much recovery as possible!

    • This comment doesn’t seem to stem from any evidence, data, or personal experience. Accusing the city of being the proximate cause of this is over the top. I watched this storm from my porch, on a street with fine tree maintenance, and saw 5 branches come down that could have killed someone. When you get tropical-type weather, trees and branches fly around. It’s the way of the Earth. Blaming the city (??) for it is counterproductive and bizarre.

    • then leave

    • DC does have a professional tree maintenance staff. Urban Forestry Administration is part of DDoT.

      However, that’s irrelevant. This particular tree was from Meridian Hill Park, which is federal property. The National Park Service maintains it — not the city of DC.

      Please get your facts straight before you rant about DC.

  • this is so sad. I hope someone can help her sign up for any insurance programs she can qualify for so it doesn’t cost $250k to be treated. Even with that though, she’ll have a lot of expenses. My heart goes out to her and her family.

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