It's been highly publicized that Angels rookie pitcher Nick Adenhart, 22, was killed in a collision just after midnight Friday. Some reporters have even added that Courtney Frances Stewart, the 20-year-old Diamond Bar resident who was driving the Mitsubishi Eclipse Adenhart rode in, and another passenger, Henry Nigel Pearson, 25, of Manhattan Beach, were also killed.
There has been less mentioned about the fourth person in the car, lone survivor Jon Wilhite, who at press time had his condition upgraded but remained hospitalized at UC Irvine Medical Center with critical injuries, although he is expected to survive.
Friends and family of the 24-year-old Manhattan Beach resident have come up with a ways to help the former Cal State Fullerton catcher. A trust fund has been set up in his name through Wells Fargo bank. Go to any branch and deposit gifts to account number 3980643658.
A prayer service will be conducted on Wilhite's behalf at the Titans' game Friday at Goodwin Field against the University of the Pacific. Game time is 7 p.m. Orange and blue wristbands will be sold for $5 apiece that state, "Jon Wilhite--Titan Family Forever." Funds raised will help offset his staggering medical bills. "We have gotten so many requests from people that are out of state, so we made an order form that is available on the group page," say Jennica Norby and Danielle Perkins in an email to the Weekly.
You can join the Facebook group by signing in, searching for the "R.I.P. Nick Adenhart, Jon Wilhite" page and hitting "join."
"Just like the Angels organization, we have a strong bond as a Titan family," write Norby and Perkins. "Through thick and thin at the end of the day we are here for each other."
Wilhite's family issued a statement posted on the Titans website which reads: "Our thoughts and prayers are with Courtney, Henry and Nick's families as they deal with this horrific tragedy.
We are overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support we have received since this senseless act of violence and ask for your continued prayers for Jon's recovery."
The Titans site also includes a request from the family of Stewart, who attended CSUF and was a former cheerleader:
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Courtney Stewart's name to the "Be Perfect Foundation" founded by her childhood friend, Hal Hargrave. Hal suffered a life-altering car accident just 6 weeks after his high school graduation which left him a quadriplegic. Donations can be made in Courtney's name via this link OR via check* by mailing directly to:
Be Perfect Foundation
2700 N. Garey Ave.
Pomona, CA 91767
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Friends and members of Stewart's CSUF Cheer Squad plan to walk in her honor at the MADD Walk-a-Thon in Huntington Beach on May 9. You can support them by making a donation in Courtney Stewart's name here.
Meanwhile, the arraignment of Andrew Thomas Gallo, the 22-year-old San Gabriel man accused of murdering Adenhart, Stewart and Pearson when he allegedly plowed his van into the Mitsubishi while drunk, was postponed to June 8. In addition to the three murder counts, he faces felony charges of fleeing from the scene of a traffic collision involving death or permanent injury, driving under the influence causing injury and driving with a .08 percent blood alcohol or higher causing injury. Gallo has a prior conviction in San Bernardino County for driving under the influence in 2005 and was driving with his license suspended at the time of the crash, authorities said.
District Attorney Tony Rackauckas announced last week Gallo faces a maximum sentence of 54 years and eight months to life in prison if convicted on all counts.