WILMINGTON — The community is stepping up to help a mother and her family injured in a freak accident last Wednesday afternoon.
At around 4 p.m. Jessica Holden, her two young boys and her fiance had just arrived at the CVS store downtown to buy school supplies.
Just after placing the boys in a cart, an SUV crashed into and through the store’s front entrance, injuring one of Jessica’s boys and her fiance and seriously injuring Jessica, who suffered extensive injuries to both legs.
She was transported from the scene by Wilmington EMS to Clinton Memorial Hospital, then via CareFlight to Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, where she has had one surgery and expects to have more.
Jessica will need a lot of therapy, according to her mother, Leah Holden.
“It’s going to be another week at Miami Valley and seven weeks of rehab. That’s eight weeks away from her kids,” Leah told the News Journal Monday.
Jessica’s fiance, David Shaw, and their seven-year-old son, Jarred Reese, were also injured. Jessica and David’s 11-month-old child (Xavier Shaw) was not injured.
Leah told the News Journal that community support has been overwhelming, has given Jessica a morale boost, and proved Leah wrong with a life philosophy she had.
“I was a single mom with four daughters. I said to them, ‘We’ve got this, we’re the Holden girls. We’re the only people we can count on,’” she said. “(The community support) proves that people will come out and help.”
Leah Holden has set up a fundraiser on GoFundMe at https://bit.ly/3aaUJiZ for anyone who would like to donate.
Leah stated on the page that “Jessica was the main wage earner in her family. They were less than two weeks away from closing on their first home. She has a very long journey to recovery ahead of her. Her medical bills will be massive. She will need counseling for herself and her family.”
Clinton Becker, who works at Wilmington Auto Center Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM, helped spearhead the #HoldenStrong fundraiser taking place this Friday.
Becker decided to start the fundraiser after reading the GoFundMe page started by Leah Holden.
“I didn’t know the whole story … when I saw the (GoFundMe) post and read the details I thought let’s figure out how to help,” said Becker.
He then started contacting businesses he’s partnered with in the past. Also, people will be donating items — including decals that say “#HoldenStrong” — that he plans to raffle off. He didn’t yet have the details as to how they’ll be raffled.
“My philosophy is, when people can give time and our money to something, it can make a real impact,” he said.
Several local businesses and individuals have partnered for the #HoldenStrong fundraiser this Friday.
• 1-6 p.m. The Awesome Egg Roll food truck will be set-up at the Wilmington Auto Center Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM dealership on Rombach Ave. “to serve you some insanely yummy food” with 20% of sales going to the Holden family.
• 1-6 p.m. at Kairos Coffee on Rombach Ave., 20% of all sales will go to the Holden family.
• 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Becker said he will have Roscoe’s Pizza gift cards at the Wilmington Auto Center dealership to sell and 100% of those proceeds will go to the Holden family.
• #HoldenStrong decals will be available for sale 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the dealership and 100% of those proceeds go to the family.
Wilmington Police Sgt. Ron Fithen told the News Journal last Wednesday that law enforcement has witness statements that the SUV driver went through the intersection of Locust and Walnut Streets at a very excessive speed.
The Kia Sorrento struck a utility pole at the corner of North Walnut and East Main Streets in front of the Clinton County Prosecutor’s Office, snapping the pole in two. The vehicle then struck a fire hydrant on the CVS property, went through the shrubs near the Main Street road frontage of CVS, went all the way through the parking lot and crashed into the CVS foyer, coming to a stop on its side entirely within the walls of the store.
For a while the 35-year-old driver — who has not yet been officially identified by authorities but charges are pending — was stuck inside the vehicle, and first responders started the procedure to extricate him, but he managed to get out through the sunroof and then ran away, police said.
The shirtless man ran out of the CVS parking lot, taking off on foot across Main Street and up Walnut with two Wilmington police officers and members of the fire department in close pursuit on foot.
He was captured at the corner of Columbus and Walnut Streets by law enforcement officers with the assistance of the fire department, stated the sergeant.
After he was caught, the man was put into custody, handcuffed and taken to a life squad for his injuries, said Fithen, and he was transported for medical treatment