The Worst Call



What is one of the worst calls a parent could receive? I received that call on March 5. “Your daughter and her boyfriend have been involved in an accident; she has been taken to a level one trauma center and is in surgery. Her boyfriend has been flown to the Maricopa Burn Center with massive burns.”

I was horrified. I started yelling then crying, but only for the time it took me to gather my wits and start planning. I was not able to drive because they had used my truck to go to the Valley and it was totaled and my other car needed work.

Because of my wonderful friends and family I was able to reach my daughter just as she was being wheeled out of surgery.

Her boyfriend was driving and they were on Frank Lloyd Wright and Cactus Road in Scottsdale around 7 p.m. when we surmise that they hit the curb on the left lane and the truck rolled and came to an abrupt stop on the side of the road. My daughter Rena was asleep and was not wearing her seat belt and was ejected out of the truck and landed on the opposite side of the road into oncoming traffic. A wonderful bystander who was also a nurse saw what happened and pulled my daughter out of the road and probably saved her life. My daughter’s boyfriend Hartley was not so lucky. He was trapped in the truck and the truck burst into flames. He was being burned alive and could do nothing. The Scottsdale police and fire departments responded and a police officer pulled Hartley from the burning wreckage also saving his life.

The injuries to both of them were numerous. Rena suffered from facial trauma, a lacerated spleen, three broken ribs, numerous bruises and lacerations. Hartley suffered from five broken ribs, a lacerated spleen, broken teeth and the most serious — second-, third- and-fourth degree burns to his arms, feet, legs and buttocks.

Rena spent a week in the hospital and was discharged. She ended up back in the hospital a week later when her spleen started bleeding, she was discharged a couple of days later and was staying in Phoenix with her sister.

Hartley had numerous surgeries to try and save his legs although because of the severity of his burns he eventually lost both legs below the knee. He was discharged on Saturday, April 20 after 46 days in the hospital.

I would like to thank all the wonderful doctors and nurses and medical staff both at Scottsdale Osborn trauma and Maricopa Medical Center burn unit that took care of the kids. I would also like to thank all of you who prayed for Rena, Hartley and my family. I know these prayers made the difference and is the reason the kids are doing so well today. Lastly, I thank all my friends and family for their continued help.

Rena and Hartley are currently staying with Hartley’s family in Star Valley while they continue to regain their health.

As there was only liability insurance on my truck and Hartley had no insurance they have lost their home and income and cannot afford the prosthetic legs and adaptive equipment that will make it possible for Hartley to get back to work, which is his main goal. They also have to go to the Valley regularly for Hartley’s appointments for treatment and therapy. Hartley has applied for disability and is awaiting a response. An account has been set up in the name of Irene Neal and Deborah McCurdy for Rena and Hartley.

Anyone wishing to donate can go to Chase Bank, the account number is 109550239. Chase account holders can also donate online. A benefit was held at the Spur Bar in Star Valley on May 26. I would like to thank the following businesses for their donations or services: The Spur Bar, Enchanted Occasions Amber Crain, Photo session Cheri Beecroft, Mrs. Construed Boutique, Chic Photography, Mona Fida Jewelry, Randy Vela DJ, Amber Crain Oasis Salon, and Crystal Clear Photography.

Please feel free to contact me, Irene Neal at (928) 978-8002 or Deborah McCurdy at (928) 951-2338 for more information.

Irene Neal


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