A tragedy has struck Mountain Crossings. One of our own is in dire need of our help. Zack “Blueyes” Finney was in a motorcycle accident that left him hospitalized in Gainesville, GA. He was on his way back up to Mountain Crossings on the evening of Monday, April 18th when the accident occurred. Thankfully, he managed to not over turn the bike until he was off the pavement, saving him from serious amounts of road rash. He also narrowly missed a metal grate protruding from the ground as he was launched down an embankment. We are thankful for the narrow misses but Zack did not fair well altogether. He sustained a compound fracture in his right leg and was sent into emergency surgery as soon as he reached the hospital.
By an incredible stroke of luck, Zack was being followed by his friend, Jeremy. Jeremy noticed the absence of Zack’s tail lights up ahead of him on the road and turned around, back tracking until he found Zack’s motorcycle headlight shining out from down the embankment. He called 911 and gave them the nearest address he could find. Jeremy acted quickly and efficiently despite seeing a good friend in agony with a large splinter of shin bone protruding from his pant leg. He may very well have been the life saving factor for Zack that night. Jeremy even stayed with Zack in the hospital over night and called up Zack’s family and Mountain Crossings owners, George and Logan. They raced to the hospital at as soon as they got the call, a little after 2am. Zack’s mother and twin sister raced down from his hometown of Clarksville, TN to be with him.
The rest of Mountain Crossings staff work up Tuesday morning to a very concerning text message explaining what happened. We waited patiently for updates, slowly learning that the surgery went well and Zack was set up with a room at the hospital. As soon as our day ended, we jumped in the car and drove the hour to Gainesville to go celebrate the life of our friend, co-worker and roommate. At Mountain Crossings we are a very tight knit group. We are family to one another and it broke our hearts to see our strong, tough brother bed ridden, struggling to drink and eat and suffering greatly from pain. Reluctantly, we left him with his mother and sister and headed back to the mountain, awaking the next day grateful to be well and healthy.
The doctors estimate that it may take upwards of a year to get Zack back on his feet and fully recovered. We have more faith in him than that, being young and fit as he is. Still, he is facing a long road of recovery and physical therapy. Even more troubling, Zack doesn’t have health insurance. The quickly mounting medical bills will all have to come from his pocket. We have created a fund to help offset and ease the cost of his medical bills because of this. If you know Zack, you won’t need to hear another reason to give. You know well that he is the kind of guy you know is worth helping out. If you don’t know Zack, read this blog post from back in February to get to know him better. He has been a devoted friend of the Appalachian Trail, working as both a trail maintainer and a ridge runner after his 2011 thru hike. Let’s help out Zack in return for his help towards the AT!