Crime & Courts

Donations pour in for NC Highway Patrol trooper paralyzed in Charlotte wreck

A GoFundMe site has raised $12,650 in just five days for a North Carolina State Highway Patrol trooper who was paralyzed from his neck down when a truck hit his motorcycle during a pursuit.

Trooper Christopher Wooten was chasing a driver through the intersection of Tuckaseegee Road and Queen City Drive in west Charlotte when the truck hit him on July 22, The Charlotte Observer previously reported.

Dontay Kilgo, the 36-year-old driver Wooten was pursuing, was arrested and charged with assault with a deadly weapon on a law enforcement officer, felony flee to elude and reckless driving, among other offenses.

Diane Smith, co-founder and CEO of software company GR8 People, started the GoFundMe campaign to support Wooten in his recovery. Wooten’s wife, Sharon, works at the firm.

After “several medical procedures, the surgeons are classifying the injury as a complete spinal cord injury at the top of the spine,” Smith wrote on the GoFundMe site. “As this news is difficult, we will stand side by side with Chris, Sharon and the Wooten family to offer of our encouragement and support in the coming weeks and months.”

Donations on the site came from 101 people by Thursday night.

“A heartfelt offering of sincere gratitude for your years of service,” wrote a woman who donated $200 wrote. “God is going to continue to shine thru you in this next journey!”

“Some gave all, and Chris is one of the Some,” wrote another woman, who contributed $135.

To contribute, go to

Related stories from Charlotte Observer

Joe Marusak has been a reporter for The Charlotte Observer since 1989 covering the people, municipalities and major news events of the region, and was a news bureau editor for the paper. He currently reports on breaking news.