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Rock Hill, Fort Mill, York SC Accidents and Injuries Legal Blog

Monday, October 8, 2012

Helping Motorcycle crash victims

Family rallies to help Rock Hill man hurt in motorcycle crash

 

Read — Paramedics were sure Voncorie “Poo Bear” Barnette wouldn’t live after he was thrown from his 2004 Suzuki motorcycle onto Dave Lyle Boulevard in an accident that shut down parts of the street for more than two hours.

That was the prognosis on June 2, when Barnette, who wasn’t wearing a helmet, collided with 33-year-old Michael Scranton’s 1998 Ford Taurus just minutes after Barnette evaded police when they commanded him to stop for driving recklessly.

Scranton, a Catawba resident, was wearing a seat belt and was uninjured, but Barnette, police records show, was expected to die.

But, “they don’t know my God,” said his mother, Evelyn Barnette, about her son, a 31-year-old father who is alive today.

Still, Barnette – more commonly known by friends and family as “Corie,” “Poo Bear” or just “Poo” – didn’t walk away from the accident unscathed.

He sits in a wheelchair from time to time, Evelyn Barnette said. He communicates in hums and by writing with pencils on scraps of paper.

And, she said, he often reaches for the right leg he no longer has.

“I think he’s going through depression,” his mother said, describing her son’s slow and sometimes frustrating recovery at Carolinas Rehabilitation Center in Charlotte. “They had to amputate his leg from the knee down. It was rough.”

The road ahead could also be rough if Corie’s mind isn’t “right,” said Bob Lindsay, pastor of Sylvia Church Baptist Church, where droves of supporters crowded into the sanctuary Sunday to raise money to help with Corie’s medical bills.

“When a person has their leg amputated ... your body will compensate for the loss of that limb,” Lindsay said.

Lindsay should know. Almost 60 years ago, he lost his leg in an accident he didn’t want to discuss. He now sports a prosthesis but still has to look down to walk.

For Corie, “phantom pains” may be common, Lindsay said, and thoughts of worthlessness can run rampant. Corie will have to learn to walk again and may have to learn to “judge the floor” before he takes a step.

Though the road to recovery will be difficult, if you ask Corie’s father, Melvin Barnette, it could all be much worse.

“God brought him from the brink of death,” the elder Barnette said before he led a church sanctuary filled with supporters in song. “I’ve got my son – he may be maimed” but he’s alive.

After he recited a prayer thanking God for his son’s survival, Melvin Barnette moved his arms back and forth like a seesaw and declared through a microphone that God is “awesome.”

The event, organized by Corie’s uncle, June Barnette, spotlighted gospel talent by Rock Hill’s Abundant Life Church and the Gospel Hi-Lighters, who have been singing for 19 years.

June Barnette, known to host events to raise money in the community for a number of causes, said he didn’t want to throw a fundraiser for his nephew until the family was sure he would pull through.

They’re remaining hopeful. Minutes before the accident on June 2, police tried to stop Barnette when they saw him changing lanes quickly on Dave Lyle, according to a Rock Hill police report. Police followed Barnette and used an intercom to order him to stop.

He didn’t listen, the report states, but continued to accelerate. Police didn’t try to match Barnette’s speed and gave up pursuit.

Not much later, they received word that he was involved in a traffic accident. He was airlifted to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte.

More than two weeks later, hospital officials told police that Barnette had made “great strides,” and his prognosis had changed, according to another police report. His chances of survival had greatly improved.

The Highway Patrol continued its investigation, and troopers realized Barnette did not have an active insurance policy on the motorcycle and that his license had been suspended for another accident, according to police records.

Police prepared an arrest warrant for Barnette, charging him with failing to stop for police. They’ve also cited him for reckless driving, driving under suspension, operating an uninsured motor vehicle and driving without a motorcycle driver’s license, according to Rock Hill police documents. The case is closed until they serve the warrant and tickets.

Barnette, a Northwestern High School and King’s College graduate, enjoyed playing football, track, softball – “all the sports in school,” his mother said.

“He was a hardworking man,” holding down a job at Walmart while supporting his three-year girlfriend, Pepsii Staton, and their 2-year-old daughter, Malejah Barnette.

But Malejah, who “asks about her daddy all the time,” is struggling to know this new daddy – now without his trademark dreadlocks, unable to speak and suffering from brain damage, her mother said.

“I tell her that he’s sick,” said Staton, who added that Corie practically became “a stay-at-home dad” while she attended cosmetology school at Kenneth Shuler on Cherry Road. “He cooked . . . He cleaned. . . He did everything.”

“She (Malejah) can’t hear his voice,” Staton said. “She’ll whine” when she sees him at the hospital.

Four hours before Barnette took his motorcycle ride on Dave Lyle, he called his cousin, Angie Barnette, to let her know he was planning to attend her mother’s surprise birthday party at the Elks Lodge on Ogden Road.

That’s where many family members received the news of the accident, said Angie Barnette, who family members credit with giving Corie his nickname “Poo Bear.”

“When he was born, I was the babysitter,” she said Sunday. “He was like a chubby bear. He’s sweet. He’ll make you laugh at anything.”


Read more here: http://www.heraldonline.com/2012/10/07/4319593/family-rallies-to-help-rock-hill.html#storylink=cpy

 

Shaw Law Firm focuses its representation on individuals and families who have been Injured. We represent clients involved in Automobile accidents, Tractor-Trailer accidents, Motorcycle accidents, Hit and Run accidents, Drivers with no insurance accidents, Pedestrian and Bicycle accidents. We also handle claims associated with Dog Bites/Attacks, Injuries on the Job, Workers’ Compensation, Medical Malpractice, Nursing Home Abuse, Prescription Errors and all Injuries associated with Children.

Shaw Law Firm has a Former Prosecutor on Staff who is dedicated to representing families and individuals going through difficult situations. Divorces and persons accused of Crimes, including alcohol and drug related charges are the focus.

We serve York County, Lancaster County and Chester County and all cities within those counties including Rock Hill, Fort Mill, Clover, Lake Wylie, Tega Cay, York, Sharon, Hickory Grove, Indian Land, Catawba, Lancaster, Chester, Great Falls and Richburg. We also serve Charlotte and the entire surrounding region.

more here: http://www.heraldonline.com/2012/10/07/4319593/family-rallies-to-help-rock-hill.html#storylink=cpy

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We serve York County, Lancaster County and Chester County and all cities within those counties including Rock Hill, Fort Mill, Clover, Lake Wylie, Tega Cay, York, Sharon, Hickory Grove, Indian Land, Catawba, Lancaster, Chester, Great Falls and Richburg. We also serve Charlotte and the entire surrounding region. Shaw Law Firm has a Former Prosecutor on Staff who is dedicated to representing families and individuals going through difficult situations. Divorces and persons accused of Crimes, including alcohol and drug related charges are the focus.



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