Riders helping injured riders
George Fon was riding lead on Route 17 in Starksboro, Appalachian Gap, at 9 p.m. on August 4 2007, when he looked into his rearview mirror and noticed that his riding partner, Bruce Brown of New Haven had disappeared from sight. Fon circled his bike and rode back to find Brown's helmet and 2005 Harley Davidson Ultra Glide Classic lying in the road.
Fon searched and found Brown lying in the road ditch, trapped under a 700-pound moose. The moose had been killed in a collision with Brown's bike. Brown was trapped under the moose and was having difficulty breathing.
A group of local men were driving by and stopped to help Fon lift the animal off of Brown. Fon, a former South Burlington police officer, used his police training to administer first aid until paramedics arrived at the scene. Brown was transported by ambulance to Fletcher Allen Hospital in Burlington, where Dr. Bruce Leavitt treated him.
"Bruce is a strong man to survive this accident", said Dr. Leavitt.
Brown was badly injured: he had broken ribs, a large gash on the back of his head, neck injuries and a serious brain injury. Brown was hospitalized for six weeks and unable to work for three months during his recovery.
Brown had medical and disability insurance, but found out his medical insurance didn't cover him for a motorcycle accident because it was considered a recreational vehicle.
Bruce Brown's accident inspired his friends to help. Fellow riders rallied to Brown's aid and helped him through his difficult recovery. His long-time girl friend, Lois Lafountain gave him daily care to help him get back on his feet and his bike. Bruce recovered from his injuries and his accident inspired his friends to create The Moose Foundation to help other riders like Brown who have been in motorcycle accidents.
The Moose Foundation
The Moose Foundation is a charitable organization whose mission is to help Vermont motorcyclists who have been injured in a crash. The accident does not have to involve an animal, but preference is given to accidents involving an animal collision. To be eligible the rider had to be impairment free at the time of the accident and have a valid motorcycle endorsement on their license.
The Moose Foundation tries to help riders in any way that it can. Sometimes they help by covering the expenses that insurance doesn't cover, like transportation or towing. This year, the foundation has helped two riders. The first man was a Vermont rider who crashed in Tennessee and the foundation paid for his transportation home. The second person was a Hinesburg man who collided with a car when the driver of the car fell asleep and crossed into his lane. The foundation paid for his motorcycle towing.
How to Get Help
If you are a motorcyclist who has been injured in a motorcycle accident in Vermont, contact the Moose Foundation at (802) 878-4778 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The foundation board meets quarterly and on an emergency basis to discuss specific requests.
How You Can Help
The foundation is entirely funded by donations from individuals and local businesses. You can support the organization by making a donation through their web site or by purchasing a Damn Moose t-shirt. T-shirts are available for $20 through Green Mountain Harley Davidson in Essex Junction.