A Beaumont High graduate who works in Redlands was severely injured in a crash on Interstate 10 near County Line Road about 8 a.m. Monday, and friends and co-workers are trying to raise funds to help pay for her care.
Tynne Nichole Cheevers, 28, sustained spine injuries, broken ribs, bruised lungs, a broken wrist, a skull fracture, and scalp lacerations that had to be closed with staples, her fiancé Josh Mailhot of Beaumont and a family friend said Thursday.
She has also undergone surgery in which a plate was inserted into her back, Mailhot said. Her condition "is constantly improving, now opens her eyes on command and even smiled for her brother Johnny," Mailhot said via email.
Tynne has auto insurance but she does not have medical insurance, and costs for her care at Loma Linda University Medical Center are mounting. Her friend Melanee Dark has set up a donors' site on Pledgie.com, while co-workers at Romano's in Redlands, where she works as a bartender, are collecting cash and plan fundraising events in the near future.
"She's been here three years, since we opened, approximately," Romano's manager Gary Ferguson said Thursday in an interview at the establishment on Orange Street.
"She's really well-loved by everyone. We're all pulling for her," Ferguson said. "She bleeds Dodger blue, and a customer named Jason, a day after the accident, he had this jersey made for her and we hung it up in the bar. We have a lot of work for fundraisers coming up."
Dark posted news of her Pledgie campaign Thursday on the Banning-Beaumont Patch Facebook page, and she said in phone interviews she hopes it will help Tynne and her family members, who include Nancy DeForge of Beaumont.
"If you know her you know that she’s one tough girl and a real ball of fire!" Dark said in her Pledgie post. "She has quite a fight ahead of her and she is going to need her signature strength and the love and support of all of the many people who love her while she works her way back to the healthy, happy girl we all know and love so much."
Mailhot, 31, who owns and operates in Beaumont, said he is grateful for the support everyone has shown so far.
"We really appreciate it," Mailhot said Thursday, speaking by phone from Loma Linda University Medical Center. "It's difficult of course, but it helps knowing so many people are pulling for Tynne."