El Reno Community Comes Together To Support Crash Victims

Saturday, March 15th 2014, 11:19 pm
By: News 9

A community comes together in a big way to support families of several teenagers involved in recent car wrecks.

Two have died, and on Saturday night, many showed up in El Reno for a benefit dinner and auction in their honor. 

The tight-knit El Reno community was rattled earlier this month when two separate tragic accidents took the lives of two El Reno High School students and injured several others. One teen is still in the hospital and many rallied together to show their support.

"This is what El Reno does, this is home," said Nancy Salsman, an organizer for the benefit dinner.

"I taught some of the kids in the accidents back in elementary school, so it really compelled me to do something to help."

In true El Reno fashion, the community packed out the local VFW Post 382 for the benefit dinner and auction.

"The response we've received from not only people in El Reno and businesses in El Reno, Yukon, Mustang, Oklahoma City, Edmond, Kingfisher, Okarche, Hennessey and all over the state," Salsman said.

3/3/2014 Related Story: 1 Dead, 3 Critical After Early Morning Crash In El Reno

Just two weeks ago, one crash took the lives of 16-year-old football and wrestling star Jesse Gorbet and later 15-year-old varsity quarterback Karson Baker.

Another wreck on Feb. 28, severely injured 17-year-old El Reno High School senior Kali Daley, who is new to the area from Mississippi. It was after school on a Friday on her way to work at Swadley's BBQ when she and a co-worker got in a bad accident.

"We were just having a good time riding around before me and Bailey had to go to work and she lost control, and next thing I know, I'm waking up in a hospital," Daley said.

Daley suffered a fractured vertebra, three fractured ribs, a bruised lung and lacerated spleen. And even though she's in a wheelchair with a neck brace, she says she wouldn't miss this dinner for the world.

"This is the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me," Daley said. "I'm just glad I'm alive, and I'm thankful for everybody's prayers."

Long Lines wrapped around for food while raffle tickets sold fast. Multiple items were auctioned off, including Thunder club game tickets, an autographed General Hospital script, and a guitar signed by Duck Dynasty's Willie Robertson.

"It may not be a million dollars that we raise, that's not our goal. Our goal is to let these families know that we're here and this whole entire community along with others are here to support them," said benefit organizer Brandi Duvall.

"It may not make a financial impact, so to speak, but it's going to make an emotional impact for every one of these kids."

3/5/2014 Related Story: Second El Reno Teen Dies After Weekend Car Crash

Daley was released from the hospital three days ago and has to take pills four times a day, not including pain medication and a blood thinner shot she has to insert in her stomach. She hopes to be out of her wheelchair and using her walker and going to back to school soon.

Daley is expected to be out of her neck brace in time for graduation on May 23.

"That's how I've made it through, just all the support," Daley said.

All the money raised will be split among the families of the teens. If you'd like to help, there is account set up for the Benefit Auction at Rock Island Credit Union in El Reno.