Fundraiser organized for South Summit teen injured in motorcycle crash
A South Summit teen critically injured in a motorcycle crash in May is continuing to recover from the near-fatal road rage incident that left him with multiple skull and spinal fractures. While Mason Leavitt has made significant strides in his recovery, a fundraiser has been organized to help relieve some of the financial burden the teen is now faced with.
Leavitt, 18, of South Summit, was riding his motorcycle with a friend along S.R. 32 on May 7 when a white Chevy Malibu tried to run them off the road, police say.
When Leavitt was behind the Chevy Malibu, the driver slammed on his brakes, causing Leavitt’s motorcycle to smash into the rear of the car, according to court documents. The person police believe was driving the Malibu, Mark Alfred Mayr, 54, of Richmond, has been charged with aggravated assault, a second-degree felony, and failure to stop at a serious injury accident, a third-degree felony.
Leavitt was wearing a helmet and riding a registered off-road dirt bike. But, he sustained multiple skull fractures, bleeding and swelling of his brain and a broken back, according to his mother, Rachel. He spent four days in the intensive care unit before he was released home in the care of his mother. He even made it to his South Summit High School graduation on May 24.
When Lacy Pedersen, a former high school friend of Rachel Leavitt’s heard about the crash, she approached her boss at the Homestead Resort in Midway about holding a fundraiser.
“I asked my boss and he said, ‘Let’s do it,’” she said. “I talked to his mom about it and she is super appreciative of it. Any little bit helps and if it were me in that situation, I would want to have someone step up and help.”
With the help of local businesses and residents, Pedersen has organized a shotgun golf tournament to help Leavitt’s family with his medical expenses.
The event is planned for July 10 at Crater Springs Golf Course in Midway. The sign-up fee is $65 for a single golfer or $250 for a team of four. Pedersen said nearly a dozen teams have signed up, but she is hoping to double that number. Pedersen plans to donate 100 percent of the proceeds to the family.
“They are a super great family and I can’t imagine the medical bills they have right now,” she said. “I don’t have an exact number I’m hoping for. I just figured anything could help.”
Prizes include gift certificates, train rides, concert tickets and hotel stays. Weller Recreation, Mason Leavitt’s former employer, agreed to donate a side-by-side recreation vehicle.
Rachel Leavitt said she was shocked and a little confused when Pedersen reached out to her. She said the two were cheerleaders together, but hadn’t spoken much in recent years.
“You get busy with things and families and sometimes you lose touch,” she said. “But, I was really pleasantly surprised. It was very touching.”
She was heartbroken when she received news of her son’s accident. Her husband suffered a traumatic brain injury about 15 years ago, and she knew the toll her son’s injuries could take.
“I was devastated on the drive down to the hospital,” she said.
But, Leavitt said her son’s wounds are healing better than they expected. He has returned to work at Tuhaye Golf Course and is on light duty. She said he just turned 18.
“We are just starting to get the medical bills, so I don’t even know what it is going to be like,” she said. “I’m scared. But, I’m also really grateful for the community. I don’t even know what else to say. It means a lot and we are sincerely humbled by the generosity of our community.”
For sponsorships, donations and sign-ups, call Lacey Pedersen at 435-513-9085 or contact her via email at Lacey.Pedersen@HomesteadResort.com.
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The Summit County unemployment rate dropped slightly in October, the state Department of Workforce Services reported.