February 13, 2009
Neal Wagner -
Donors from all over the country have shown an "outpouring of support" for a New Hampshire man injured when an 18-wheeler struck his horse-drawn recreational vehicle near the Noxubee-Kemper county line shortly before noon, Tuesday.
"We have been absolutely flooded with calls from people from here, New Hampshire and all over the country wanting to donate to the fund," said Brandie Graham, an employee at Citizens National Bank in Macon.
Bob Skelding, 49, sustained non life-threatening head injuries after a tanker truck struck his horse-drawn RV while both were traveling on Highway 45 South, according to the Mississippi Highway Patrol. The RV was destroyed, and two of Skelding''s four horses -- Deedee and Dollie -- died. Skelding remained in a Meridian hospital this morning.
After the wreck, the Macon Beacon newspaper and Citizens bank in Macon set up an aid fund for Skelding and his surviving horses. While bank officials were not able to reveal the exact amount donated to the fund, they said many donations have been "steadily flowing" into the fund since Tuesday.
"There is definitely a lot of interest in it," Graham said. "We have been taking calls left and right from people concerned about Mr. Skelding and his horses."
Public interest in Skelding''s surviving horses, Doc and Joyce, also has been high since the wreck.
"The horses are doing fine today. They are actually out grazing right now," said Kathy Allen, an employee at Dr. William Calvert''s Veterinary Clinic in DeKalb, who is caring for the horses. "We have been getting a lot of calls from people concerned about the horses.
"Some people call wanting to donate, and we direct them to the Citizens National Bank," Allen added. "There is definitely a lot of interest."
Interest also has been high on several Internet sites. Since the accident, about 4,680 people have signed Skelding''s guest book at www.wagonteamster.com. More than 200 people have posted blog comments on www.cdispatch.com in response to stories about the accident.
Citizens National Bank continues to accept donations for Skelding''s aid fund. Anyone who wishes to donate to the fund should call 662-726-5861, mail a check to Citizens National Bank at P.O. Box 426, Macon, MS, 39341, or visit any Mississippi Citizens National Bank. Checks should be made out to "The Bob Skelding Wagonteamster Benefit Fund."