Community pulls together after contractor was severely injured in car crash

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NEW CASTLE, Ind. (Mar. 11, 2015) -- A central Indiana community is pulling together to help a neighbor who was injured in a horrible car accident. The accident happened on I-69 just outside Ft. Wayne on Feb. 26, when a car carrying two New Castle residents hit black ice, ran into a guard rail and flew into the air. Businessman Jeff Smiley was driving and walked away from the crash but contractor Greg Callahan nearly lost his life.

"We are very fortunate to have him with us right now and he's a strong man," Callahan's daughter Annette McKinney said.

At first, McKinney and her family thought Callahan would be out of the hospital quickly.

"We had no idea that it was going to be so tragic to our family," McKinney said.

After arriving at the hospital in Ft. Wayne, they realized just how serious it was. Callahan suffered injuries to his spine, head and shoulder. He may never walk again.

That's where the community of New Castle has come in.

"We have always been a community that when it’s a time of need, everybody pitches in," Mayor Greg York said.

Along with the Mayor, a group called Henry County Hoosiers with Heart stepped up to raise donations for the family. They even created homemade donation boxes and put them in dozens of businesses across town.

"Every little bit helps. It can be a quarter, to a dollar, to whatever you can do," Stuart Hamby of Hoosiers with Heart said.

Smith's Jewelers owner Van Goar is one of those displaying the donation box. He said that he's not surprised so many businesses stepped up to  help.

"Not in New Castle, no. ... It’s a pretty tight community," Goar said.

They are donations McKinney said she and her family can't believe.

"We appreciate it so much. Anything that has been given to us, we are beyond thankful," McKinney said.

She's thankful, too, to see her dad out of the ICU this week and communicating with family members. She's hoping he'll get to see his grandkids soon and get back to being himself, thanks to the town rallying around him.

"He knows he’s got a long road ahead of him and we just hope for the best," McKinney said.

If you want to donate outside of New Castle, you can go to any Citizens State Bank and ask for the Greg Callahan Fund or click here.

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