January 9, 2014

Donation fund set up for man hurt in wreck

Rachel Brown

— A Dalton man who was badly injured in a wreck with a woman police said was driving drunk is recovering at a Chattanooga hospital while friends and family work to raise money for his medical bills.

Christopher Kitts, 20, was taken by LifeForce helicopter to Erlanger Medical Center on Saturday after his Toyota Scion was hit by a Ford Ranger driven by Amy Nicole Raburn, 26, of Tunnel Hill, officials said. She posted $20,000 bond on Monday, jail records show.

A Georgia State Patrol spokesman said Raburn crossed the center lane into oncoming traffic on Cleveland Highway near Pleasant Grove Elementary School where she collided with the Scion that Kitts and his 15-month-old son, Ryan, were inside.

Raburn was charged by the Georgia State Patrol with DUI, possession of meth, possession of tools for the commission of crime, failure to maintain lane, driving on the wrong side of the road, driving without a valid license and serious injury by vehicle.

While Ryan suffered relatively minor bumps and bruises, Kitts sustained head injuries and had to undergo facial reconstruction surgery, said Dana Johnson, Kitts’ uncle. He will also likely have to go through rehabilitation for a broken leg, Johnson said.

“As of last night, he was still in ICU (intensive care),” Johnson said Thursday, “but we are confident that he is out of the critical condition and on his way to stable condition.”

Johnson said Kitts does not have medical insurance, and the family has set up a donation account at Regions Bank where Johnson works. So far, about $1,000 has been donated, he said. Donations can be mailed to Regions Bank, Christopher Kitts Donation Account, 509 S. Thornton Ave., Dalton, GA 30720.

The Zone Skate Center, where Kitts works, will have a fundraiser this weekend at the center’s location at 611 Sheridan Ave. in Dalton. Monetary donations for “Chris’s Change” will be accepted as will food donations for Kitts’ parents as they stay with him at Erlanger. Sympathy cards will also be accepted.

For more information, visit The Zone’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/thezoneskatecenter.