A Westchester man faces an “uncertain future” after being hospitalized in New Orleans when a drunk driver sped his truck into a Mardi Gras parade crowd, gravely injuring him.
According to a nola.com report , 38-year-old Mario Basantes of Yonkers was among the 24 people hospitalized on Feb. 25, when Neilson Rizzuto drove drunk into a crowd of people celebrating the Endymion parade in New Orleans.
Basantes suffered several fractures, lacerations and internal injuries that have left him unable to walk and put him in state of constant pain, the report says. Since being struck, he has been in and out of consciousness and may be stuck in New Orleans for more than six months as he recovers.
The injuries the Basantes suffered include a broken pelvis, separated shoulder, lacerated liver, a massive hematoma on his head and a damaged bladder that has caused internal bleeding. According to nola.com , he also suffered damage to his back that they “will deal with later.”
The report states that Basantes’ health insurance doesn’t cover him outside of the state, and he won’t be able to travel until September. The family now may be in danger of losing their jobs and Yonkers apartment as medical bills continue to pile up, with no relief in sight.
In response, friends and family have set up a GoFundMe fundraising page to raise money for the Basantes family . As of Friday, March 17, nearly $7,000 of the stated $50,000 goal had been raised. Donations are also being accepted by the New Orleans Musicians Clinic and Assistance Foundation to help Basantes and another friend that was injured by the drunk driver.