Woman faces debt, injuries following wreck
After spending two weeks undergoing surgery and recovering at Oregon Health and Science University Hospital, Newberg resident Tasha Carnaghie returned home Jan. 7 to continue what will likely be a lengthy recovery process.
On the night of Dec. 24, a drunk driver struck Carnaghie's vehicle head-on near Dayton at milepost 51 on Highway 18. Carnaghie suffered fractures to her back, femur, ankle and elbow along with a shattered pelvis and internal bleeding. Her 15-year-old daughter, Kiarra, was in the passenger's seat and suffered minor injuries.
KATU-TV reported that Esmeralda Duran Garcia, 24, was the driver of the other car and has been charged with reckless endangerment, assault and driving under the influence of intoxicants.
Carnaghie's friend and co-worker Nikki Shermin set up a crowd funding page for Carnaghie to help pay pending medical expenses. Shermin – who works with Carnaghie at Pitter Patter children's consignment store in Newberg – said Carnaghie faces six months to one year of rehabilitation, during which she will be unable to work. In fact, Shermin said, Carnaghie will be unable to bear weight on her pelvis for three months.
"She was instantly fearful of losing her apartment," Shermin said. "I told her not to worry about anything, set up the GoFundMe page and hopefully people donate to help her. I wanted all this to be taken care of for her so she can focus on healing and not have that extra burden."
Carnaghie is Shermin's "neighbor, best friend and coworker." The two met when Carnaghie moved in two years ago and Carnaghie helped Shermin get a job at Pitter Patter.
On the night of the accident, Carnaghie's boyfriend knocked on Shermin's door and asked to borrow Shermin's car. Shermin instead drove him to the scene, where Carnaghie's car was completely totaled.
"When I first got to the scene and saw the car, I was like, 'Oh my gosh,'" Shermin said. "If I hadn't heard that she was already awake and talking, I would have thought she was already gone because the car looked so bad."
Shermin is asking any local businesses or individuals to donate to the GoFundMe account, which she said will cover rent, utilities and other expenses while Carnaghie recovers. Carnaghie is a single mother and has no other source of income during her rehabilitation.
The crash underscores the dangers of drunk driving, Shermin said.
"That decision by that person to get behind the wheel while drunk changed Tasha's life forever," Shermin said. "Her daughter is traumatized, too, and thank God she just walked away with bumps and bruises. We all love Tasha and we're so proud of her for coming this far, but it is just so important that people reach out and donate."
The GoFundMe page can be found at www.gofundme.com/help-support-tasha-carnaghie.