U.S. couple survives Costa Rica ATV accident, but face huge expenses

February 13, 2012

A U.S. couple from Minnesota celebrating their anniversary in Costa Rica suffered an all-terrain vehicle accident that left a family stuck in the country and facing more than $10,000 in medical expenses.

Ron and Elissa Merritt took an ATV tour through Costa Rica last week, when Elissa was cut off by another rider and lost control of her vehicle, according to a note posted on Facebook about a fundraiser for the family. The Anoka, Minnesota native, who also was celebrating her birthday, tumbled down a 21-meter canyon. She broke both arms, a leg and received several other cuts and bruises.

After two hours, emergency workers lifted Elissa out of the canyon and transported her to a hospital in San José. The Facebook message says Elissa did not show any sign of internal bleeding and a helmet prevented any further damage. The location of the crash was not mentioned.

However, the family has had to pay $5,000 in medical expenses, and spent thousands more to transfer Elissa back to the U.S. A post Tuesday night on the “Benefit to Help Elissa Merritt” Facebook page said medevac personal was airlifting Merritt back to Florida.

Family members of the couple are accepting donations to assist with the expenses.  

Donations may be made to the: Elissa Merritt Benefit Trust, Wells Fargo Bank, account 3728192075.

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