Tyler's Broken Body.

On Wednesday, June 20th, Tyler left work in downtown Anchorage, enjoying the evening  sunshine while he paced his motorcycle through a steady string of green lights. When Tyler was just a few blocks from home, a driver in a minivan barreled out from a cross street, ignoring his red light. Tyler only had a split second to use both brakes, skidding broadside into the driver’s side of the van. Without slowing down, the van sped away. The impact threw Tyler across the intersection into the opposite curb.

Fortunately, emergency response was nearby and had Tyler in an ambulance heading to Providence Hospital within minutes. Tyler’s full-face helmet and armored jacket had, thankfully, protected him from life threatening brain injury and organ damage. His bones weren’t so lucky. His left clavicle and scapula were both broken. In his left foot and leg, his first metatarsal had split like a “y,” jammed to either side of his medial tarsal, and his tibia fractured in several places just below the knee. Add to the mix, body scrapes and facial lacerations, and Tyler was pretty beaten up in that hospital bed.

In surgery the next day, doctors secured his shoulder and foot bones with plates and screws. Surgery scheduled next week will secure his tibia with titanium hardware. For now, it’s held in place by an external fixator with four rods protruding out of his leg.

Despite all this, Tyler does his best to smile through the eight stitches that, sadly, also cost him part of his mustache. Fortunately his funny bone is intact.

The van driver, 39-year-old, Brandon Cockburn, was apprehended and charged with second degree felony assault in addition to a misdemeanor leaving the accident scene.  He was released and is NOT IN JAIL! He had no insurance and was driving on a revoked license.  We have since learned he already had four misdemeanor convictions, including two for driving without insurance and one DUI, with other past charges for assault, driving on a revoked license, and probation/parole violations, some of which appear to have been plea-bargained away.  As if that’s not enough, it looks like he had been arrested in April and currently faces indictment on six Class A felony charges for distribution of child pornography (perhaps with a prior conviction), plus thee Class C felony charges for possession of child pornography.

Compensation from Cockburn looks hopeless. 

Tyler will be bound to a wheelchair for the bulk of the summer and unable to work during the most two lucrative months of the summer tourist season.

Tyler’s property management and restaurant work provide neither health insurance nor paid medical leave.

His $50,000 uninsured motorist coverage will pay only a portion of his ongoing hospital, surgical, medical and rehab bills. Tyler and Kayla’s health insurance expired several months ago after the regional airline Kayla had been working for pulled out of Alaska.

Kayla is now going to school full-time for Health Coach certification while working full time at Fire Island Rustic Bakery. Adding Tyler as her first patient and taking on some of the property management work, she’ll be stretched to the max. They need our help and support.

Fundraising team (2)

Kayla Hughes
Anchorage, AK
Tyler Hughes
Team member

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