By Brittney Haynes/Assistant News editor
On Friday, Eastern students, faculty and staff joined together to help a man many did not know. Walter “Danny” Crowe is a caring, loving, family man according to Crowe’s wife, Elizabeth. He is a good, moral person who would help anyone he could, she added.Crowe was employed at Eastern less then six months before he was injured in a car accident Sept. 29, according to Rich Middleton, assistant director of Facilities Services.
The man who people say helps anyone is now receiving help of his own from the Eastern custodial staff, who held a car wash to raise donations for Crowe and his family.
Crowe’s vehicle was hit head on by a man from Ravenna who fell asleep at the wheel and crossed the center line of state Highway 52, according to a Kentucky State Police report.
Crowe was taken to the University of Kentucky Chandler Medical Center, where he is in serious but stable condition, according to Elizabeth.
“God was with him,” Elizabeth said.
Crowe’s family does not hold anything against the other man in the accident, Elizabeth said. “What good would it do?” she said.
“We are a strong family,” Elizabeth said. “We have each other to lean on.”
“(The accident) just happened,” said Elizabeth. We wish it didn’t, but it did, she added.
Crowe had been accumulating benefits while working at Eastern but had not accumulated enough to carry him through such a serious accident, Middleton said.
Crowe will eventually be terminated because he was unable to accumulate enough sick days or family and medical leave in his short time at Eastern, according to Gary Barksdale, director of human resources.
Once Crowe is terminated, his long-term disability and extended health insurance will kick in, Barksdale said.
Crowe may be able to return to work if he can return within one year, Barksdale said. However, that decision will be made by Crowe’s supervisor, Barksdale added.
Edna Renfro, a custodian, knew of Crowe. Renfro knows what the family is going through after going through a similar situation herself, she said.
“My heart goes out to his family,” said Helen Clay, a custodian.
Donations were made by Crowe’s co-workers, people who got their car washed, people who walked up to the car wash just to give a donation and the Dupree Hall floor that Crowe worked on, Middleton said.
In all, $3,055.23 was raised for Crowe and his family.
There was a “tremendous, unbelievable response,” Middleton said.
Many students heard about the car wash from fliers posted around campus.
Dallas Robinson, a senior psychology and speech communication major, purposely waited to have his car washed all week just so he could have it washed at the Crowe car wash, he said.
Chris Washington, a junior environmental health science major, knows how expensive a bad accident can be, he said. His mother was in a bad accident, he added.
“It really hit home,” Washington said.
Crowe is continuing to make progress toward a recovery, but he will have a long road ahead of him, Elizabeth said.
Elizabeth was amazed at the support the Eastern community showed, especially since Crowe had not worked at Eastern long, she said.
“We’ll never be able to thank those people personally,” Elizabeth said.
Too often, you hear about the bad and not the good, Elizabeth said. It’s as if people came out of the woodwork to help, she added.
“We love all of you (at Eastern),” Elizabeth said. “Thank God there’s still good people in the world.”
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