Craig man loses legs, hopes to keep home
Auto accident crushes Randy Miller's legs but not his spirit
Randy Miller is a bit shorter now, but his spirit is as high as ever.
A mechanic for life, Miller said he is accustomed to helping people out with their vehicles, regardless of their financial situations.
“We didn’t charge a lot of money,” he said. “It was more karma.”
After a terrible accident took both of Miller’s legs, he is hoping he can cash in some of the karma he has accumulated over the years.
Recently, Miller was helping a friend from Grand Junction investigate a strange noise on her 2007 Mercury Mountaineer in the driveway of his home off Moffat County Road 174 when disaster struck.
Miller had just found a load of copper pellets in the rear end of the vehicle’s axle — speculated to be a gift from an angry ex — and stood up to retrieve another bottle of grease.
When he shouted to his friend in the driver’s seat that he would “be right back,” she heard a command to reverse the vehicle.
“Bam,” Miller said. “Pinned me between an F-350 Ford truck and her Mercury Mountaineer.”
The two vehicles collided at about 30 miles an hour with Miller in the middle, crushing his legs, shattering glass and making massive dents in both vehicles.
“Didn’t even hurt me or knock my breath away but I noticed my feet were over here,” Miller said.
Miller’s partner Marlena Greene said she hurried to keep all of their five kids, who had been playing in the yard, from seeing what had happened.
She thought Miller was dead, she said.
“Oh my God, she just killed him,” Greene said was the first thing in her mind.
Miller lost consciousness several times while being transported to Grand Junction for medical attention.
After repeated efforts to save his legs, Greene was forced to give doctors the go-ahead for amputation.
Miller spent six days on life support in intensive care at St. Mary’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center, a visit that cost over $400,000.
Insurance will pay around $100,000 of the bill, and Medicaid will kick in for 85 to 95 percent so Miller said he isn’t too concerned about the remaining $50,000 or so that is still his responsibility.
What Miller is concerned about is the $12,000 he needs by Tuesday to prevent his family’s home from going into a foreclosure.
“We had just took the house over from some people who owned it and they didn’t realize that it wasn’t just a couple of payments behind — there’s interest, penalties,” he said.
Between the two of them, Miller and Greene have five kids. Miller drives to Idaho Springs every Friday to pick up his three kids, who always bring friends along with them, and bring them back to Craig for the weekend.
The situation is strange for Miller, who said he is used to being the one helping others.
Miller and a group of friends, who all race cars and motorcycles, have been active in Children Charity Network for years.
The group of friends raises money by racing to buy blankets and pillows for terminally ill children in various Colorado hospitals.
When he woke up in the hospital, Miller said the first thing he thought of was how he could remain active in his charity and continue to help the community in all the ways he did previously.
“We just like helping the community and I’m still going to do it,” he said.
And while he figures everything out, Miller is staying strong.
“I can’t let it get me down — I don’t have time for that,” Miller said. “I don’t have time for sympathy, pity, any of that garbage. We have kids and a family, and that leaves no slack time your life.”
Miller has seen some support from the Community Budget Center and his neighbor Dave Robison, a welder who is building access ramps for Miller at his home.
Robison said Miller has been a good friend for a year now.
“He’s always tried to help people out one way or the other,” he said.
Miller said only four or five people in the community are aware of the situation with his house and his family wasn’t sure how to ask for help.
“I’m usually the guy on the other side, trying to help the other guy who needs help,” Miller said.
If you think you can help, contact Randy Miller at 970-620-1355.
Contact Patrick Kelly at 970-875-1795 or Contact Patrick Kelly at 970-875-1795 or pkelly@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @M_PKelly.Contact Patrick Kelly at 970-875-1795 or pkelly@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @M_PKelly.
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