Bikers and the community turn out to help raise money to pay medical bills for accident victim

Nick Mansell came back to Taft Sunday, seven months after a horrific motorcycle accident took the life of his father and left him severely wounded.

He wasn't alone.

Family and friends, like close friend Bostun Hackler, were there, as were the Kern County firefighters who treated him at the scene of the Labor Day crash at Highway 33 and Wood Street.

So were dozens of bikers who road in from all over the area to help support Nick and contribute to the the fundraising at Buckolies.

“It's amazing,” Nick said of the show of support. “There's so many people here to support me. It's nice to know that this many people support me.”

Nick lost a lot in the crash, but now he's just thankful for everyone's help since the Labor Day accident.

“I just want to thank the community and Kern Medical Center and UCLA Hospital.”

Nick lost his left leg in the accident and and 30 broken bones, including an open skull fracture.

He was flown from Taft to KMC immediately after the accident, then to UCLA.

He was hospitalized for more than two months while he healed and the injuries were repaired.

He remembers nothing of the day of the crash, he said.

Now he's just looking forward to getting on with his life.

He entertained himself at the fundraiser playing darts in the crowded Buckolies as supporters lined up for tri-tip.

Nick is going to be fitted for a prosthetic leg later this year.

In the meantime, he's being home schooled in Santa Maria, where he has stayed since being released from the hospital in late October.

He's closer to family and the hospitals there.