MANATEE — Dylan Kersey, the critically injured 18-year-old pulled from the tangled wreckage of a head-on collision Sept. 1 by his firefighter father, has shown some improvement in his condition.
“There have been some changes for the better. Inter-cranial pressure has come down and that’s a good sign and his vital signs are stabilizing,” said Myakka City Fire Chief Danny Cacchiotti on Tuesday.
“It looks like they will be doing some surgery in the next few days. We hope and pray for the best,” Cacchiotti said.
Dylan’s father, Arthur “Otter” Kersey, was among the firefighters and medics who responded to the predawn crash on State Road 70. Not until Dylan had been removed from the wreckage did his father realize that he had helped extricate his only child.
First-responders say it is their worst nightmare to come upon an accident scene involving a family member.
Arthur and Kathy Kersey have been spending much of their time at Bayfront Medical Center as their son fights for his life.
An account has been established at Bank of America, titled “Dylan Kersey Medical Fund.” All funds donated to the fund are restricted for the use of medical bills as outlined in the agreement with the bank. Anyone interested in donating can do so at any Bank of America location in Manatee County, Cacchiotti said.
Donations can also be dropped off at Myakka Fire Department Station 2 on State Road 70 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.
In addition, a benefit barbecue — ribs, pork or chicken dinners for $10 — with live music is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 25 in the park behind Bobby Smith’s Myakka City Groceries, located at the corner of State Road 70 and Wauchula Road in Myakka City.
Ruth Jones, Otter Kersey’s aunt, works at Bobby Smith’s grocery, and she said she appreciates how the Myakka community has rallied to her family’s side.
“We are all worried. We’re pulling for Dylan. We don’t know the outcome because it was a serious accident,” Jones said.
Jones said she has been doing a lot of baking for the bake sale and putting out fliers.
“We’re all praying for Dylan and his mother and father,” Jones said.
Among those who have raised their hands to help is Daisy Gant, who has known the Kersey family and Dylan since he was a little boy. Gant said she is prepared to bake or do whatever she can to help out.
“They are good people,” she said of the Kerseys.
For more information or to help, call the fire department at (941) 322-6525.
James A. Jones Jr., East Manatee Editor, can be contacted at 745-7021.