Friends and family of the former Hollister police sergeant injured in a motorcycle vs. vehicle accident Jan. 6 have set up a public fundraising campaign to help pay for the rising medical costs of Andrew Burgess, 59, of Gilroy.
By mid-week, there were already 110 donations amounting to $7,555, according to figures on the fundraising website.
To donate to, or learn more about the fund, go to gofundme.com/6am0o8.
As of Wednesday, Burgess – an Army veteran and former sergeant with the Hollister Police Department – was in critical but stable condition. He’s still unconscious but coming to at random, according to close friend Doug Fudge, who is acting as the family’s spokesperson. A “huge sign” came this week when Burgess was able to squeeze Fudge’s hand and open his eyes more often.
“He’s fading in and out, but it’s better than last week,” Fudge said. “It’s gonna be a long, tough road for him.”
Doctors previously put Burgess in a medically induced coma to help with brain swelling resulting from major trauma to his skull, a “good portion” of which has been removed on the left side, according to Fudge.
Burgess also suffered multiple hairline fractures to his pelvis and face and continues to be cared for at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center.
Fudge, a Hollister resident, describes Burgess as “lovable, easy-going” and “one of your best friends.”
Burgess has two children – a daughter who lives in Virginia and a son in the Army at Fort Hood in Texas – and a wife who is “understandably shaken, but it is difficult to pry her out of the hospital,” Fudge said.
The crash occurred in front of Kachy Produce, located at 8655 Monterey Road just north of Leavesley Avenue. It caused Monterey Road between Ronan Avenue and Pierce Road to shut down for roughly four hours while the Gilroy Police Department’s Major Accident Investigation Team took over the scene.
Santa Clara County Emergency medical personnel, Gilroy firefighters and police responded to the incident after 22-year-old Dulce Hernandez-Aguilar of Gilroy pulled out of the grocery mart’s parking lot and collided with Burgess, who was headed southbound on Monterey Road at a high speed, according to GPD Sgt. Chad Gallacinao. Burgess was airlifted by a medical helicopter to a Bay Area trauma center.
Aguilar, who was behind the wheel of a Mitsubishi sedan, appeared inconsolable and was in visible shock after the accident. She was tended to by EMS personnel, who transported her to a nearby medical center. Aguilar was not injured as a result of the collision, according to a GPD press release.
“The factors leading to the cause of the collision are currently under investigation. The investigation will determine what caused the collision and if intoxicants may have contributed to the collision,” the press release states.
Fudge said Burgess retired from police work about nine years ago following painful complications from a tumor found growing in Burgess’ spine. He is currently employed by a security firm in San Jose.
Anyone who has information regarding this incident is urged to contact the Officer Rene Arbizu at (408) 846-0350. Parties wishing to remain anonymous may call WeTip at 1-800-782-7463 (1-800-78-Crime).