Student faces loss of friends, mounting medical bills

Wednesday, September 10th 2008, 11:48 pm

By: News 9

By Colleen Chen, NEWS 9

STILLWATER, Okla. -- Students at Oklahoma State University are mourning the loss of three classmates who died over the Labor Day weekend in a fatal car wreck near Ponca City.

A campus candlelight vigil for the three students that died in the fatal crash is scheduled for Wednesday, September 10 at 8 p.m. on the Library Lawn.

"For many of them, it's the first time they've experienced a significant loss like this," OSU counselor Suznne Burks said.

Stephen Sellers, the only survivor in the students' truck, was listed in serious condition.

He suffered from multiple injuries in the crash, including a broken pelvis, broken hip, lacerated spleen and a hole in his colon.

With no health insurance to cover his medical costs, the young man must now face both the loss of three friends, as well as mounting medical bills.

Sellers said he was too old to remain on his parents' health insurance policy, and could not afford the student health insurance offered through OSU.

Lisa Schneider, Sellers' mother, said her son was working hard to get through school and begin his life, and said this could be a major setback for his life.

Sellers' bills have accumulated quickly.

Sellers is forced to cope with the crash both emotionally and physically.

He owes $9,980 for the helicopter ride from the crash scene to the hospital, $149,900 for his initial medical fees and $29,000 for the back surgeon his injuries required.

"I don't want my son to bare this," Schneider said. "This has been hard enough on him."

Along with the mounting costs, Sellers also faces a $1,500 bill for each day of his rehabilitation that will teach him to walk again.

"I can't have a bad attitude in something like this. If I did, I would never get better," Sellers said. "I just have a lot more to live up to now. I have something to prove."

Sellers said he feels like he has to live in honor of his three friends who died.

Donations to Sellers can be made to Mid First Bank to the Stephen Sellers trust account.


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