Longmont community returns kindness to keep auto shop open

LONGMONT, Colo. -- A Longmont auto mechanic is back at work after a horrific crash on Highway 119 in late November.

Tom Maggio was driving home from Hands On Auto when his truck collided with a pickup truck, pinning him inside.

"The windshield was just destroyed and shattered, and I heard sirens and saw lights coming toward me," says Maggio. "At that point, I just started praying for my wife and my kids. Would they be OK if I didn't make it?"

Maggio was airlifted to the University of Colorado Hospital in Aurora, where he'd spend the next month in surgery. Doctors ultimately decided they would need to amputate his left leg.

"The oddest thing was, I could feel my toes and wiggle my toes, and that's what made it such a tough decision," he says.

Soon after, the medical bills began rolling in.

"The ambulance ride was 1,000 feet for $10,000. The helicopter ride was $30,000 for 20 minutes. Insurance covers a lot of this stuff, but not all of it, and it's scary at times."

That's when the community jumped in to help, raising nearly $30,000 to help Maggio keep his auto shop open.

His shop has become known for honest service and willingness to help people out when they can't pay. Maggio is also a volunteer firefighter at Big Elk Meadows Fire Department outside Lyons.

"I came in just after the holidays and saw what happened, and wanted to try to do what I could for him," says Eric Lowery. "He's somebody who gives back to his community, so it's nice to see somebody give back to him in his time of need."

You can donate to the Maggios' GoFundMe account online.

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