GoFundMe created motorcyclist suffering near-fatal injuries in Malibu

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This screenshot from Stephen Levey’s helmet cam shows the moment right before Levey was hit by a pickup while waiting at a stoplight on Pacific Coast Highway. Levey suffered serious injuries in the crash, which was caused by a driver of a stolen Lexus who originally hit the truck. Photo Courtesy of Stephen Levey.

Over three weeks ago, on Nov. 14, a horrific fatal accident occurred at the intersection of Pacific Coast Highway and Kanan Dume Road. 

The as-yet-unidentified driver of a stolen 2017 Lexus NX SUV blasted down Kanan towards Pacific Coast Highway at excessive speed. Upon entering the T-intersection, he did not slow down, and made no attempt to turn left or right to avoid the 30-foot-high cliff straight ahead. He hit a pickup traveling west on PCH, causing it to flip over and land on top of a motorcycle waiting at the light. The Lexus then smashed head-on into the cliff and exploded into a fireball. All of this happened in about three seconds.

The motorcyclist and the driver of the pickup survived the fiery crash, but the stolen Lexus driver did not. 

Motorcyclist Stephen Levey was airlifted to Cedars-Sinai Hospital, where he remained for 11 days before being released to his home in Hollywood. He has no memory of the collision, but later learned that the fire and sheriff department personnel on the scene were doubtful he was going to make it. 

Levee, interviewed by various local TV news sources, stated that his right arm had been shattered from the elbow to the fingers and had to be surgically reconstructed. He had nine broken ribs, one of which punctured a lung; which makes it very painful to cough, or even to eat and drink. He also had an injured right leg and foot.

“I now have a substantial amount of titanium holding me together,” he commented.

While hospitalized, Stephen recalled that he had his phone on to record the ride on the day of the accident, and asked the nurses to bring it to him. He then discovered the entire accident had been recorded — a heart-stopping video that’s now been shown and viewed over and over again in LA and around the world.

Stephen hired personal injury trial attorney Brian Breiter, who appeared on several local TV newscasts asking for any witnesses or anyone with information about the driver of the Lexus to contact his office at brian@lawbreiter.com

“Any information would be helpful in trying to put this puzzle together,” Breiter said on camera. “The driver either escaped from a rehab [facility] or was let out early; and we’re still trying to get to the bottom of that … Stephen is looking at a lifetime of debt for an accident he had nothing to do with.”

Earlier, the LA County Sheriff’s Department had confirmed that the Lexus was stolen from a Malibu rehab facility.

Breiter emailed The Malibu Times that no questions about the Lexus driver or the rehab could be answered until the Sheriff’s Department completes its traffic investigation and report on the incident.

In the meantime, Stephen, who lives alone, was struggling at home with the effort of even trying to feed himself or perform the simplest tasks. A professional photographer, he is now unable to work and has no money coming in. As his medical bills mounted, he felt he had no choice but to try raising money through GoFundMe.

“I hate asking for help, but it’s the situation,” he said. Here are some excerpts from Stephen’sGoFundMe page, posted Nov. 29:

“I’ll have a lifetime of trauma, not to mention years and years of occupational and physical therapy and mental [effort] in an attempt to try to recover as much use as I can from my arm, hand and foot in an attempt to get back to my old self.

“I’ll never again be who I was before that day, and my life is now forever changed: I’m a photographer who cannot take photographs; I’m an active person who now can’t even stand unassisted. Every year, I run the LA Marathon for St Jude’s Children’s Hospital, and now I can’t even walk to my kitchen without being in crippling pain and it taking 20 minutes; and I’m a motorcyclist with no motorcycle.

“This ‘accident’ has taken everything from me except my life, and thank God for that … I drastically underestimated the bills; not to mention my ongoing care. Whatever the bills amount to, which are most likely millions of dollars; I’ll be stuck with them. Sadly, the driver who caused all of this perished in the accident and the car he was driving was stolen. But, I will recover, I will regain the use of my arm, and I will go on with my life.”

Stephen explained that he’ll be responsible for whatever expenses his insurance won’t pay, which will include being transported to a hospital that was not in his insurance plan. 

Visit Stephen Levey’s GoFundMe page at https://www.gofundme.com/f/im-the-motorcyclist-from-pchkanan-dume-accident

As of Monday morning, Dec. 5, he’d raised $46,669 of a $50,000 goal with 975 donations.