Archive for Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Annual bike show to benefit local family

September 12, 2012

A serious motorcycle accident this spring forced Jason Lucas to have his leg amputated, and his family has struggled to get by in the face of mounting medical bills.

The financial strain recently forced the Bonner Springs family — Lucas, his wife and six children ages 1 to 10 — to move in with a friend in Kansas City, Kan. But a Saturday event in Bonner may help the family return home sooner rather than later. Kobi’s Bar and Grill, 113 Oak St., will give the family the proceeds from its 20th annual Bike Show, beginning at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 15.

Lucas’ accident occurred May 1 at 10th Street and Shawnee Road in Kansas City, Kan. He and his wife were returning home from a friend’s house, when a woman ran a stop sign traveling 50 to 60 mph.

“(She) turned straight at us,” Lucas said. “So, it was either take it head on, or what I did was lock the bike up and took it sideways instead.”

Kobi's 20th Annual Bike Show

The show will begin with registration from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saurday in the Centennial Park parking lot behind Kobi’s. Registration fee is $10. Judging will take place at 5 p.m. and trophies will be awarded at 6:30 p.m. The event also will include live music, vendors, food, giveaways, a silent auction, a burn out pit and a tattoo contest.

The action likely saved Lucas and his wife’s life — she walked away with knee and shoulder injuries — but it crushed most of Lucas’s right leg and almost completely detached his foot. And ultimately, most of his leg had to be amputated.

Between his wife’s treatments and his own, Lucas said the family’s medical bills have totaled about $500,000. Lucas previously worked as a mechanic, converting trucks for use at airports, a job he could not return to with just one leg.

They are getting by largely on just his wife’s income; since receiving a prosthetic leg last week, Lucas has been able to do some work in stereo installation, but that hasn’t provided much.

Though they recently were forced to move in with a friend in Kansas City, Kan., their older children continue to attend Bonner Springs Elementary School and take part in other activities in Bonner.

“We try to keep their mind busy so it stays off of everything else,” Lucas said.

Lucas said he hopes the family soon will get an insurance settlement that will help them get the hospital bills under control and move back to Bonner.

But it remains unclear when that settlement will come through, and if the woman who caused the accident will be taken to court.

Vicki Kobialka, owner of Kobi’s, says she hopes the bike show can help the family. Lucas is no stranger to Kobi’s.

“I’ve been coming out here since I was 5 or 6 years old with my mom and dad,” he said.

The head chef at the restaurant knew Lucas and his children, so he suggested the family when Kobi’s was determining how to donate the proceeds of this year’s bike show.

Lucas said he is eager to return his family to Bonner.

“When everything’s said and done, I’ll be back out here, definitely,” Lucas said.

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