Hart student gets in severe car accident on the 14 freeway

Benjamin Haslam

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On Sunday, September 30 just before 5 a.m., 17 year-old Ava Ellyson (a senior at Hart) and her father Phillip “Rich” Ellyson were driving on the 14 freeway on the way to a dirt bike race when a driver came onto the freeway in the wrong direction.

“Rich swerved the car so he would take most of the hit instead of his daughter” said Kaytlyn Cole, a close friend of the Ellyson family.

Rich and Ava were found upside down in the car. After being cut out of the vehicle, they were rushed to the hospital. Ava was treated for a severely broken arm that required surgery, as well as minor bruises, cuts and scrapes. She has since fully recovered and has returned to school.

“I was scared that I was going to lose my best friend but [I was] relieved she was okay. Seeing her in pain in the hospital broke my heart, but when she surprised me by coming back to school I cried out of joy and excitement to see my best friend again!” said Amerisee Lopez, personal friend of Ava’s.

Rich Ellyson suffered critical injuries including two broken legs, broken ankles, a broken wrist, broken pelvis, broken ribs and internal bleeding that sent him to the intensive care unit at Henry Mayo Hospital. Even after these surgeries, he will need to remain in physical therapy and rehab for months to become completely functional again. He will not be able to return to work to provide for his family for a long time.

“He has a long road ahead,” said Paige Ellyson, Rich’s daughter,“Please continue to pray for Rich.”

Cole has constructed a GoFundMe project to help raise money to support the family, as their medical bills are extremely high due to the multiple surgeries. They have nearly reached their goal of $5,000, with $775 left to be raised.

“They both have a long recovery ahead of them, and I know they would be grateful if you could help them through this very tough time,” Cole said. “Anything helps.” The driver of the car that collided with the Ellysons’, George F. Bravo from Los Angeles, was killed in the crash.