Klamath Falls, Ore. — A community is coming together to support a Klamath Falls couple, seriously injured when the motorcycle they were riding was hit by a suspected drunk driver. It happened Sunday, on North Foothill Road in Central Point. Both victims are still in the hospital. Now, friends, family and perfect strangers are rallying to support them.
“She’s just a good person,” Nikki Saltenberger says of her friend Chelsea Gamble.
Most days Chelsea Gamble and Zach Toll would prefer to be on 2 wheels, instead of 4. Whether it’s on a motorcycle, or a dirt bike, friends say they love to ride.
That’s what they were doing Sunday. But their usual ride, had a very different end.
“There was like no words to express your feelings,” Saltenberger says of learning about the crash, “it’s just heartbreaking.”
The two were riding on N Foothill Road near East Vilas, when police say a pickup truck driven by Jose Medina-Galan crossed the center line and hit them. Officers say, he was drunk behind the wheel.
Both Chelsea and Zach were seriously injured. Chelsea losing an arm and part of her leg as a result of the crash.
“It was just devastating,” friend Jeanette Telkamp says, “so we knew we had to do something for her and her family.”
Now, as medical bills mount, donations are pouring in. A GoFundMe page has been set up, and cans are being dropped off at Klamath Falls businesses so money can be available immediately.
And while friends can’t turn back time to undo the damage that’s been done, they hope one thing is made clear.
“I think we just need to get awareness out and tell people how serious it really is to get behind the wheel when you’ve been drinking,” Telkamp says, “it takes two seconds to call a cab or a friend, or someone to come pick you up.”
Cans can be dropped off at Mirror Image Salon, Indulgence Salon and La Super Torta in Klamath Falls. Donation boxes will also be at the Klamath Freedom Celebration and National Fitness. All funds will be going to help with medical expenses, and to help support Chelsea’s 5-year old daughter.
Executive Producer Kristin Hosfelt anchors NBC5 News weeknights at 5 and 6. Originally from the Bay Area, Kristin earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Broadcast Journalism from San Jose State University.
She came to KOBI-TV/NBC5 from Bangor, Maine where she was the evening news anchor. Kristin has won multiple journalism awards including Best Feature Reporting in the State of Maine. In 2017, her investigation on lead pipes in Medford’s water system was named Best News Series by the Oregon Association of Broadcasters.
When Kristin is not sharing the news, she’s traveling, hunting down the best burrito, or buried in a Jodi Picoult novel. She’s also a Green Bay Packers shareholder; if you see her out and about she’d be happy to tell you the story of how a California girl became a cheesehead.