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Park City

Local bartender in ICU after motorcycle accident; friends rallying to help family

Zack Meland.jpg
Alice Johnson
Local bartender Zack Meland

A Park City man remains in intensive care following a motorcycle accident May 27. His friends say he’ll have a long recovery and are raising money to help his family with costs.

Zack Meland, 25, is a bartender at Old Town Cellars, but friends say he’s worked and played all over town since moving here from Minnesota about eight years ago. Last Friday he was critically injured when he was pulling into the Fresh Market parking lot and collided with a car.

Since then he has been hospitalized in intensive care in Salt Lake City.

Natalie McHale, a longtime friend, said their friend group is now taking turns caring for his dog, named Spoke, taking him hiking and biking and doing all the things Meland always did with him.

And Jason Morgan, who owns Old Town Cellars, has started an online fundraiser that had raised nearly $20,000 after one day. McHale said the support is a testament to how the community feels about Meland.

"He's just one of the sweetest, you know, he just - everyone knows him. You know he's that guy who every time you walked into White Pine or Old Town Cellars, he's just the sweetest human and everyone remembers him.”

McHale said part of the funds raised will help Meland’s mother and aunt, who flew out from Minnesota after the accident, defray their expenses while they help with Meland’s recovery.

An in-person fundraiser is scheduled for Tuesday June 21 at Summit Community Gardens, where McHale works. She said his previous employers will attend and contribute donations, and encouraged community members to help by getting involved with that event.

McHale said Meland had surgery on his leg Tuesday, which was considered good news since he wasn’t previously stable enough for the operation. She said to her knowledge Meland was not wearing a helmet when the accident occurred, and that doctors said he suffered brain trauma and a potential spinal cord injury.

Another friend, Taylor Rains, described Meland as a uniquely joyous person.

“He has like this like really unique optimism about life, like this insane positivity, like on countless of the most average days he would just like pause in the woods and look around and then start freaking out about how amazing that day was," Rains said. "And that is just this rare quality that I have only seen in like, I don't know - maybe just him.”

For those who want to donate to the Old Town Cellars online fundraiser, information can be found here.