LOGAN SQUARE — Family, friends and members of Logan Square’s bar community are rallying around a bar worker who was seriously injured in a bike crash this week.
Victor Ortiz, 32, an employee at GO Tavern & Liquors and The Moonlighter, was riding a Divvy bike home about 4:30 a.m. Monday when he was involved in a crash in the 2900 block of North Milwaukee Avenue, said his sister, Daisy Ortiz.
It’s unclear what caused the crash or if a car was involved, but Daisy Ortiz said her brother was rushed to the hospital with a fractured eye, brain bleeding and swelling.
Victor Ortiz doesn’t remember anything leading up to the crash, and so far the family hasn’t been able to find surveillance footage from nearby businesses to fill in the blanks, Daisy Ortiz said. He didn’t file a police report, she said.
“We’re not sure if he hit a curb and that caused him to veer and fall, or if he was biking and a car came close. We have no idea,” Daisy Ortiz said.
Daisy Ortiz said her brother is recovering well from his injuries, but the crash has left him with financial challenges. He doesn’t have health insurance, and he’s about to lose at least two weeks of wages for his recovery, she said.
To help Victor Ortiz cover his medical bills and living expenses, Daisy Ortiz and another family member set up an online fundraiser — and the Logan Square community has stepped up in a major way.
The fundraiser for Victor Ortiz had raised more than $14,000 of its $25,000 goal as of Thursday morning, just two days after it was launched.
Victor Ortiz’s employers — GO Tavern & Liquors and The Moonlighter — posted the fundraiser on social media, calling on neighbors to chip in to support the bar worker.
“Please share and or consider donating towards his recovery,” The Moonlighter’s post reads. “Victor is always a bright shining light making friends wherever he goes.”
The Moonlighter group declined to comment on the fundraiser, and GO Tavern & Liquors didn’t immediately return a message seeking comment.
Victor Ortiz has worked as a server and bartender for the group behind popular Logan Square spots Scofflaw, The Moonlighter and Outside Voices for seven years, but he’s worked in the service industry for about 15 years, Daisy Ortiz said. During the pandemic, he also picked up the bartending gig at GO Tavern & Liquors, she said.
“It’s always something he’s had a passion for: socializing with people,” she said. “He’s very good with meeting new people, making new friends. He lives for that stuff.”
Daisy Ortiz said her brother is floored by the community’s support. Most of the money raised will cover costly medical bills, and leftover donations will go toward rent and other living expenses, she said.
“His gratitude is infinite. He’s so grateful to have everyone supporting him,” Daisy Ortiz said.
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