Family facing steep medical bills after violent crash



SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. - A father and son are still recovering from serious injuries after their SUV crashed into a bus towing a pickup truck last month.

Ashley Vanrennsalear said her husband and two sons were on their way to pick her up from work in August when the violent crash happened. The family was driving on Interstate 20 westbound between Highway 5 and Post Road when an old school bus towing a pickup truck pulled out in front of them.

“We just clipped the rear end of the truck. The impact was so hard, they said I never even hit the brakes,” Stephen Vanrennsalear said.

Stephen Vanrennsalear and his 4-year-old son, Maddox, were injured, but his 7-year-old son, Gavin, suffered the worst injuries. He was flown by Life Flight to the hospital

“His stomach caught every bit of that impact. It almost pulled the seat out of the truck,” Stephen Vanrennsalear said.

Gavin suffered massive internal bleeding. He has been through two emergency surgeries and an additional procedure, but he still faces more in the future.

The driver of the bus has been charged in the crash. Investigators said he had a Guatemalan driver’s license, and they are looking into his legal status and whether he was licensed to operate a vehicle in Georgia.

“We obviously haven’t been back to work yet and we’ve been relying on the support and help of our friends and family, even strangers,” Stephen Vanrennsalear said.

The Vanrennsalears said the other driver’s insurance has paid nothing, and they do not have health insurance. After three days in the hospital, Gavin’s bills topped $100,000.

“We’re in the toughest emotional and financial spot we’ve ever been in,” Stephen Vanrennsalear said.

The family’s attorney, Mac Pilgrim, said he will fight for the family to get money from the insurance company.

Gavin is expected to be released on Friday but will have to return to the hospital for additional surgeries to fix his detached stomach.

If you would like to donate to the Gavin Fund, you can make a donation at any Wells Fargo Bank, under the name “Benefit for Gavin Fund.”