The community is rallying around a Mad River Twp./Enon firefighter and medic who was seriously hurt in a crash on I-70 last week.

Mad River Twp. medic injured in crash has long road to recovery; fundraiser planned

The community is rallying around a Mad River Twp./Enon firefighter and medic who was seriously hurt in a crash on I-70 last week.

John Clark Jr. was working with another medic on a patient inside of Mad River ambulance on the side of the interstate. Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers said at the time that a semi truck driver wasn’t paying attention and crashed into the medic unit and another car.

The semi truck driver from New York died as a result of the crash. The two medics were hurt — but Clark got the brunt of it.

EARLIER REPORTING: I-70 crash in Clark County could have been prevented

Since the crash on Nov. 12, he’s already undergone a six-hour facial reconstruction surgery. He’s currently at home recuperating.

“We just found out he may need two additional surgeries to rectify his sinus problems,” said friend and former co-worker, Mike Gardone. “So he’s looking at a long recovery.”

It will be between eight to 12 weeks before Clark can even think about going back to work — and even then, it’s not clear in what capacity that would be.

“He’s a good medic. He knows his job, and he got dealt a bad deal out of this accident,” said Gardone. “He’s been to residents’ houses. They know him. He saved peoples’ lives. He’s saved people. He’s a good guy and gives his 100 percent to this community and we want to give it back.”

Gardone is a co-sponsor of some of the fundraising efforts, along with Ben Beair, to raise money for Clark’s medical bills and living expenses for him and his two daughters.

Many of Clark’s friends are hoping for a big turnout on Dec. 14 when they host a community spaghetti dinner. The event is from 4:30 to 7 p.m. at Knob Prairie United Church on West Main Street in Enon.

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A donation is requested at the door for the dinner and raffle tickets.

Those tickets will go toward raffle prizes that have been donated by local businesses and individuals.

All proceeds go towards Clark and his daughters.

Although several employees left Mad River Twp. Fire and EMS in a mass resignation earlier this year, Gardone said they have put their differences aside for Clark’s benefit.

“This is a very tight knit community, and we’re hoping everyone comes together and helps the cause,” Gardone said. “We accept any donations from a dollar up to a thousand. Anything helps.”

Mad River Twp. Fire and EMS has set up a GoFundMe account in cooperation with Gardone and others that has a goal of $5,000.

Anyone interested in donating should search ‘Firefighter/EMT John Clark Jr. Recovery’ on the GoFundMe website.

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