Former ambulance chief faces ‘long recovery,’ fundraiser launched

07/10/2012 2:30 PM |

RALLY FOR RONNIE PHOTO | Ron Rowe, 47, and his daughter Alyssa, 22.

Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance Corps members are rallying behind one of their own after a former corps chief and ambulance board president and his daughter were injured in a car accident last week in Calverton.

“None of us want to see anybody hurt when you get to these bad car accidents,” said current president Kim Pokorny. “But it’s so much worse when it’s one of your own, when it’s someone you love and admire.

Ron Rowe, 47, and his 22-year-old daughter Alyssa were hospitalized after their pickup truck smashed into the back of a delivery truck on Middle Country Road Friday afternoon, Riverhead police said.

The Ambulance Corps has set up the online fundraiser “Rally for Ronnie” to help “defray any expenses his family might incur during this difficult time.” The Corps will also hold a car wash on July 21st from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Chase Bank on Route 58.

Police said the two were westbound in a black Chevrolet Silverado about 5 p.m. when they crashed into a Peter’s Fruit Company truck driven by Edward Eastman of Mastic, which was stopped in the road trying to make a left turn.

Mr. Eastman was not hurt.

Riverhead firefighters had to cut away the truck’s roof and door to remove the victims, said police Sgt. Tim Palmer, adding that Mr. Rowe was conscious and alert after the crash.

Mr. Rowe was airlifted to Stony Brook University Medical Center, while his daughter was taken by ambulance to the same hospital, police at the scene said.

Mr. Rowe has been a volunteer for more than 20 years, and served as an ambulance corps chief and board president.

He is still on the board of directors for the corps, and has also spent time helping to train students for their New York State Emergency Medical Technician Certification exams.

“He’s definitely a great mentor to everybody,” Ms. Pokorny said. “If anybody needs anything, he’s right there for them.”

Ms. Rowe, a corps lieutenant, has been recognized as a “Top Responder” who “has selflessly organized fundraisers over the past few years and has raised thousands of dollars for the benefit of others,” Ms. Pokorny wrote on a website dedicated to the “Rally for Ronnie,” fundraising efforts.

Ms. Rowe was quickly treated and released, but Mr. Rowe has “a long road to recovery,” Ms. Pokorny writes.

The fundraiser aims to reach $10,000 for the Rowes, she said.

Visit http://www.gofundme.com/Rally-For-Ronnie to donate.

psquire@timesreview.com