The text below is from the Simonton GoFundMe Page
Robert Simonton Returns Home to Florida Eighty days after being struck by a 2007 Yamaha YZF-R6S 599cc motorcycle on August 29, 2018 at approximately 6:11 pm, and receiving life threatening injuries, Robert Simonton (Bob) will be returning to his home in Cocoa Florida early Saturday morning, November 17, 2018.
Bob was struck by a motorcycle ridden by Raphael Rashad Byrd 32, from Chattanooga, TN who was fleeing a Pottawatomie County Deputy Sheriff through the small city of Saint Marys, KS at a high rate of speed (estimated to be between 70 and 80 mph). The dry weight of this motorcycle is 357lbs. Add the driver to this weight and the mass of this motorcycle was near 530 lbs. at the time it struck Bob.
Bob was crossing the main street of Saint Marys, speed limit 20 mph, to get to his parked vehicle on the other side of the street. A black truck which had slowed to almost a stop to allow the pursuing Sheriff's vehicle to pass, blocked Bob’s view as he began to walk across the road. The Sheriff’s vehicle had its emergency lights on, but not its sirens. Without the audible warning, Bob was not aware of the pursuit in progress. The Sheriff had been pursuing Byrd for about 16 minutes, according to the Kansas Highway Patrol Accident Report, at speeds exceeding 100 mph. The top speed of this motorcycle is 165 mph, according to MCN. As Bob stepped into the west bound lane, he was struck by the motorcycle which had moved into the center lane of the road to pass the stopping truck.
Bob was propelled into the air by the force of the impact and traveled about 40 feet in the air before landing in the east bound lane on the seat of his pants and sliding another 10 feet causing skin burns on his legs as well as multiple fractures to his legs, arms, pelvis and other injuries to his diaphragm, ribs and lungs. Fortunately, Bob did not hit is head hard on the road. After striking Bob, the motorcycle continued east bound in the west bound lane and struck a parked Town and Country Mini-Van head on. After striking the Mini-Van, driver Byrd, was propelled over the hood and roof of the parked Mini-Van. Both Byrd and Bob were transported to Stormont Vail Hospital in Topeka, KS.
Shortly thereafter, Bob was transported via helicopter to the University of Kansas Medical Center (UKMC) Trauma Center where he underwent extensive surgery lasting about 10 hours to repair some of the damage to his body. At the time of the accident, Bob’s injuries were thought to be potentially fatal. Byrd remained at Stormont Vail Hospital, for treatment of his injuries. We have recently learned, that Byrd was released from the hospital, but his whereabouts are unknown.
Byrd has been charged with nine offenses related to the accident. Byrd also has a criminal record in Chattanooga and had a court appearance scheduled on October 9th. Byrd had purchased the motorcycle just two weeks prior to the accident in a private sale. He had a suspended driver’s license, and the motorcycle was not insured. At the time of the accident Byrd was living in Manhattan, KS. Bob remained at UKMC until October 3, 2018, when he was released.
His mother, Margaret Simonton (Margie), has not left Bob’s side since the accident. Margie flew to Kansas City to be with Bob on August 30, 2018, the morning after the accident. She has remained at his side in the hospital throughout his ordeal. When released from the hospital care on Wednesday, October 3rd, they have been staying at a Hotel in Topeka Kansas until Friday, November 16, 2018, that evening they will be flying back to Florida. Doctor appointments at the UKMC in Kansas City continued throughout October with his last appointment on Wednesday, November 14, 2018. Bob has two brothers that live in and near Saint Marys, Daniel 26 and his family, and Patrick 20.
Margie’s parents, Laura and Jim Jones, sisters Cecilia and Teresa, and her brother Jim, all live in Saint Marys. Also, many cousins and two nephews and two nieces. In addition, there is Saint Mary’s Catholic Church Academy and College where Bob attended both high school and college prior to entering the Seminary in Winona, Wisconsin. Bob graduated from St. Marys Academy in 2010. Bob entered the seminary in 2012 and in 2014.
Unfortunately, our relatives in Saint Marys do not have wheel chair or ADA accessible homes, so Bob was not able to stay with them. Bob was living in Saint Marys, so he could attend college. The credits that he had earned at Saint Marys College are not recognized outside of Kansas. He had been working at Onyx Collection, Inc. in Belvue, KS to pay for his college tuition. Bob was studying to become a Registered Nurse.
While in the UKMC, Bob had several operations, and as of November 15, 2018, he has accumulated hospital and doctor bills totaling more than $625,000. At the time of the accident Rob did not have medical insurance. In fact, his medical insurance had expired on August 25th, 4 days before the accident. Fortunately, UK
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