The Enriquez family of San Fernando is praying for a miracle. They implore that Matthew Meredith wakes up from intensive care after a tragic car crash that upended his life and his family’s. With an anticipated extended hospital stay and an even longer recovery from brain trauma and multiple bone fractures, the Enriquezes have started a crowdfunding effort to pay the 19-year-old’s medical bills.
“We have faith that God is gonna grant my brother a miracle, that he’s going to wake up from his critical condition at Providence Holy Cross (Medical Center),” says his sister Valeria Enriquez. “And I hope my brother will get to live a life as normal as possible.” Last week she started a GoFundMe account to raise $50,000. The campaign’s title: “Matthew’s Medical Bills.” As of press time, the efforts had raised $4,435.
“Matthew Meredith was involved in a “ hit & run” car accident Wednesday, May 24th, 2023 on his way to pick up his baby sister from school,” reads the GoFundMe page.
“This car accident has put Matthew in severe critical conditions. He has endured five surgeries in total since he arrived to [sic] the hospital. One of them being open brain surgery. Doctors say that Matthew will be in the hospital for a minimum of an extra 6 weeks, and will have a hard a [sic] time adjusting to regular life. Matthew is still in an induced coma and in critical care.” Meredith suffered brain trauma, several broken ribs and multiple fractures in his pelvis.
The car accident happened in Sylmar when Meredith drove his black Infinity Q50 Luxury Sedan on Hubbard Street, between San Fernando Road and Laurel Canyon. On his way to John F. Kennedy High School to pick up his younger sibling after classes, he never made it to the Granada Hills campus. A black Escalade SUV reportedly cut him off, causing Meredith to veer off and slam onto a sidewalk tree. The impact left the tree lodged into the driver’s door. “My brother ended up on the passenger side of his car,” says Enriquez. “It was a miracle that he survived.”
According to witnesses, the black Escalade stopped momentarily after the crash, put the blinkers on but immediately left the scene. A witness reportedly followed the SUV and got its license plate number, which he gave to officers of the Los Angeles Police Department that responded to the scene.
“The accident is being investigated as a non-contact hit-and-run but that could change down the road,” says Detective Ostrina, with the Traffic & Homicide’s Valley Traffic Division in Panorama City. He confirmed that three witnesses have been contacted but are yet to be interviewed. According to Ostrina, the witnesses provided statements to police officers on the day of the incident but further interviews are needed. Also contacted by detectives was the driver of the black Escalade, with an interview pending as well. Detectives also have videos of the accident.
“Once we interview all parties and go through the videos, we’ll make a determination of responsibility,” says Ostrina. He adds that the investigation could take “a matter of weeks.”
Two weeks after the accident, Meredith’s mother is devastated. “I don’t feel well physically,” says Jacqueline Enriquez in a phone interview with this paper. “This is so difficult for me as his mom.” She fears that her son will suffer permanent brain damage if and when he wakes up from his induced coma. In the meantime, doctors plan more surgeries on the young man. “This Thursday they will do an operation on his mouth to insert a tube and see if he can breathe on his own,” the mother says, noting Meredith has been on a respirator. “Doctors want to see if he wakes up after this surgery.”
Meredith’s sister, Valeria, hopes for the best but seems to get ready for the worst. “He had a seizure and doctors went ahead and did an MRI and said he has substantial brain damage.” She adds, “It’s gonna be a miracle if he wakes up.”
On the GoFundMe page, the campaign thanks those supporting Meredith and his family. “We are grateful for all the prayers everyone has sent over our way. We have Faith In God he will recover. We as a family do not leave his side unless necessary.”
To donate to the crowdfunding campaign visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/5mx9g-matthews-medical-bills.