STILLWATER, Okla. – One Stillwater hospital has decided not to bill any of the victims from the Oklahoma State University homecoming parade crash that left four dead and 46 injured.
The Stillwater Medical Center Administration and Board of Trustees announced the decision Tuesday.
“We saw their pain and suffering and treated all those patients, and we didn’t want to add to that,” said Jerry Moeller. “As part of the Stillwater community, we said, ‘Look, we’re not going to bill them. They’re not going to get a statement.'”
Any patient who was seen in the ER or admitted to SMC for their injures will receive their care for free.
“The whole thing is just very surreal, and so this is just another aspect of that unreal, amazing journey,” said Collett Campbell, whose son, Alleyn, spent four days at SMC. “To go from insurance that’s going to battle for you every step of the way to finding out at least part of your costs are going to be waived, that’s huge.”
The Campbells hadn’t received a bill yet but expected the costs to be in the tens of thousands of dollars.
Alleyn left the hospital with a concussion, a broken femur and road rash.
He had been standing in the front row of OSU’s homecoming parade when Adacia Chambers’ car came barreling through.
His parents weren’t with him, but his mother still remembers the moment she found out.
“It was a wow factor, because it was literally four inches one way or another way that made a difference in how badly you got hurt,” she said. “All the people that jumped in that day – you can’t thank those people enough. They stepped in to do something that I wasn’t there to do. Everybody was at every need. Anything you asked for appeared. Any questions were answered. There’s not enough thanks to go around.”
Moeller said SMC will help any patient who requires subsequent visits or service either file health insurance or work to assist them through their financial assistance program.
“We have a very generous financial assistance policy for those patients requiring further treatment as a result of the accident,” Moeller said. “We will do all we can to make the process as smooth and stress free as possible.”
It’s a decision Moeller said the hospital made early on.
Patients should have received letters from the hospital in the last week.
The hospital will comp about $200,000 worth of services, Moeller said, but he hardly minds.
“It wasn’t that difficult to make that decision and just say ‘Forget it,'” he said. “It’s part of the Stillwater community coming together.”