After Logan Square bartender is injured in biking accident, community steps in to help cover medical bills

LOGAN SQUARE – Family, friends and members of the Logan Square bar community are rallying around a bar worker who was seriously injured in a bicycle accident this week.

Victor Ortiz, 32, an employee of GO Tavern & Liquors and The Moonlighter, was riding his Divvy bike home around 4:30 a.m. Monday when he was involved in an accident in the 2900 block of North Milwaukee Avenue, his sister said , Daisy Ortiz. .

It’s unclear what caused the crash or if a car was involved, but Daisy Ortiz said her brother was rushed to hospital with a fractured eye, bleeding brain and swelling.

Victor Ortiz doesn’t remember anything leading up to the accident, and so far the family has been unable to find surveillance footage from nearby businesses to fill in the blanks, Daisy Ortiz said. He did not file a complaint with the police, she said.

“We don’t know if he hit a curb and it made him turn and fall, or if he was riding his bike and a car approached. We have no idea,” said said Daisy Ortiz.

Daisy Ortiz said her brother was recovering well from his injuries, but the accident left him struggling financially. He does not have health insurance and is set to lose at least two weeks’ pay for his recovery, she said.

To help Victor Ortiz cover his medical bills and living expenses, Daisy Ortiz and another family member set up a fundraising online – and the Logan Square community has grown strongly.

The fundraiser for Victor Ortiz had raised more than $14,000 of its $25,000 goal Thursday morning, just two days after it launched.

Victor Ortiz’s employers – GO Tavern & Liquors and The Moonlighter – posted the fundraiser on social media, calling on neighbors to pitch in to support the bar worker.

“Please share and/or consider donating for his recovery,” read The Moonlighter’s post. “Victor is always a shining light who makes friends wherever he goes.”

Moonlighter Group declined to comment on the fundraiser, and GO Tavern & Liquors did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

Victor Ortiz worked as a server and bartender for the group behind popular Logan Square Scofflaw spots, The Moonlighter and Outside Voices for seven years, but has been in the service industry for about 15 years, Daisy Ortiz said. During the pandemic, he also took on the job of bartender at GO Tavern & Liquors, she said.

“It’s always been something he’s had a passion for: socializing with people,” she said. “He is very good at meeting new people, making new friends. He lives for this stuff.

Daisy Ortiz said her brother was overwhelmed by the support from the community. Most of the money raised will cover expensive medical bills, and the remaining donations will go towards rent and other living expenses, she said.

“His gratitude is endless. He is so grateful that everyone is supporting him,” Daisy Ortiz said.

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