Fundraiser aims to assist teacher injured in car accident

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Whitefish Schools Choir Director Sky Thoreson totaled his car in an accident last week. A fundraiser has been set up to assist his family. (Courtesy photo)

After Whitefish Schools Choir Director Sky Thoreson totaled his car in an accident last week, his colleagues are stepping up to help.

Thoreson slid across the median on U.S. Highway 93 while heading north on Dec. 2 on his way to work, leading to a southbound car striking and totaling his vehicle and resulting in minor injuries for both drivers.

A GoFundMe page has been set up by orchestra teacher Jenanne Solberg and English and history teacher Kelly Haverlandt to help with medical expenses and for a vehicle replacement, with a goal of $10,000.

As of press time, the page has raised $882.

While Thoreson’s insurance is covering medical expenses and the damage to the other driver’s vehicle, Thoreson says he is still out a vehicle.

Solberg said as soon as the community got news of the crash, they jumped into action.

“A meal train started and boom, his meals were taken care of. Someone stepped in to help out in his class,” she said. “Nowadays, in my mind it’s just super important that if something goes down, people step up. We see it a lot in small ways at school, little things that are behind the scenes. But this is a way where the whole school and district can get in there and do good things for each other.”

Thoreson said nothing was out of the ordinary on the drive.

“I’ve done this drive over 500 times in worse conditions and never had any issues, but suddenly my car was out of control,” he said.

Thoreson said he suffered whiplash, bruising, and a sprained shoulder joint, and he’ll be on the mend for awhile. The driver of the other car, Sukey Pfirman, suffered a broken nose as well, Thoreson said, but was nothing but gracious during and after the crash.

“She was so gracious and kind, she called me a couple days after just to say, ‘This could’ve happened to anyone, it was a pure accident and it could’ve been me hitting you,’” he said. “This whole thing actually gave me a lot of hope for our society in general. From the minute the accident occurred, all I encountered was kindness. From the lady I hit, to the EMTs, and every instance forward. People are bringing meals and stopping by to say hello, and my wife and I are so grateful.”

Thoreson returned to work late last week, greeted by cards from students and “gentle hugs” from staff members.

“I had a warm reception.” I heard ‘Yay Mr. Thoreson, you’re back,’ about 50 times,” he said. “My wife and I are just floored [by the response]. It’s very humbling. We never would’ve expected this outpouring of support. This is only my second year in Whitefish, but I felt like I’m part of this family. It’s a community that really supports and cares for each other.”

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