FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - A South Florida community is coming together to help a Fort Lauderdale firefighter, days after he was critically injured in a car crash.
He’s used to being the one to rescue others, but now Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue Firefighter Sauvens “Vince” Castelly is in need of help himself.
Officials said Castelly was driving home to West Palm Beach from work at Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue Station 46, Wednesday evening, when a car hit him, causing his vehicle to strike a tree and roll over.
Castelly ended up being trapped underneath his car, and had to be extricated by West Palm Beach firefighters. He was then airlifted as a trauma alert to St. Mary’s Hospital.
FLFR said Castelly is in critical but stable condition, with multiple broken bones and severe trauma to nerves in his neck. Officials said spinal injuries have left him paralyzed.
Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue Capt. Greg Schutzer said Castelly’s fellow firefighters have rushed to his side. “[I’ve] been at the hospital every day since the accident happened, especially since it was so close to the house,” he said.
Fellow firefighters made it clear that Castelly has a lot of people in his department pulling for him. “I call him a workhouse. The guy would constantly be working,” said Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue Firefighter Ryan Zauner. “The truck he was on that one night was a peak-hour truck, and he was constantly on it. Guys would actually call him up because they know that he would take it.”
Castelly, a 10-year veteran of the fire department, and his wife are expecting their second child, due in July.
But now his fellow firefighters are raising money to help with his medical costs during his road to recovery. They have already raised more than $50,000 on a GoFundMe page.
Cooper City resident Sean Arana, whose mother is also a Fort Lauderdale firefighter, began raising money for the injured firefighter through a lemonade stand.
“I came up with, like, an idea for the summer … to help Castelly,” said Sean.
7News cameras captured Sean and his mother, Tammy Arana selling lemonade to people in their neighborhood, this weekend.
Arana and his mother are using social media and their neighborhood app to help support a friend in the fight of his life.
“We are trying to do anything we can do to help him and his family out,” said Tammy.
“He is an inspiration for me,” said Zauner.
“It’s so surreal that he was so active, and now he’s fighting for everything he can get,” said Schutzer.
If you would like to make a donation to the GoFundMe page set up for Castelly, click here.
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