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Lincoln Square, North Center, Irving Park

Friends Of Marine Vet Hurt In Hit-And-Run Hosting Sunday Fundraiser For Him At The Cabin At Old Irving

Raul Basulto nearly lost his leg after a hit-and-run in May. A bar owner who has known him for more than a decade is organizing a fundraiser to cover his medical bills.

Raul Basulto is married with three children, all age 19. Pictured left to right, front to back: Savanna Basulto, Raul Basulto, Sharon Basulto, Brian Basulto and Brandon Basulto.
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IRVING PARK — The owner of an Irving Park bar is partnering with a veteran group to raise money to help a father who nearly lost his leg in a hit-and-run this year. 

The crash occurred May 14 outside The Cabin at Old Irving, 4104 N. Pulaski Road.

Raul Basulto, an engineer from suburban Elmwood Park, was standing behind his Jeep Cherokee outside the business when the driver of a truck hit the car parked behind Basulto, pinning him between the two cars, police and his family said.

Officers are still searching for the truck driver, a police spokesperson said Friday.

During the collision, the trailer hitch on Basulto’s Jeep went through his right leg, severing an artery. After multiple surgeries, doctors were able to save his leg, and they released him from the hospital in July, his family said. 

The Cabin’s managing owner, Harry Nyholm, has known Basulto for about 15 years. He joined with the Chicago Police Marine Corps League to raise money for Basulto at the bar 1-9 p.m. Sunday. 

The event will include a 50/50 raffles, and people who attend can also donate cash and checks, Nyholm said. All proceeds will go to Basulto to pay for his recovery, he said. 

“He’s just such a genuine man and a great inspiration,” Nyholm said. 

Basulto owns his own business as an engineer who services juke boxes and ATM machines. When Nyholm took over the Cabin about seven years ago, he asked Basulto for advice on how to run the bar because he had been around the industry for so long, Nyholm said. 

“Whenever I have questions or have had issues, he would always be more than willing to sit down and discuss it or introduce me to another bar owner to get a better insight,” Nyholm said. “And I have an annual beach party here every year, where I literally fill my bar up with 3 yards of sand and he would actually come and help us wheelbarrow everything in and then out again after the party.”

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Raul Basulto at Northwestern Memorial Hospital on June 23, 2022.

Basulto, 48, is the father of 19-year-old triplets and a Marine Corps veteran who fought in Operation Desert Storm. 

Basulto’s also active in River Grove American Legion Post 335 and Central Leyden VFW Post 5979. Basulto is a leader with Boy Scout Troop 690 in Elmwood Park, where his two sons are Eagle Scouts, said his sister-in-law, Francis Tayupanta-Kostelis.

After Basulto was hurt, VFW River Grove post 5979 Cmdr. Shawn Schroeder launched a GoFundMe to raise money for Basulto’s medical bills. 

Friends and family described Basulto as someone who doesn’t hesitate to help others and have offered him emotional and financial support.

“I’m grateful for them. And I tell them all the time thanks for everything. That’s what motivates me to keep going,” Basulto said. 

Basulto’s undergoing physical therapy. While he’s homebound, he has impressed his doctors with how active he’s become since being released from the hospital, Basulto said. 

“It’s a work in progress. Everything is where it’s supposed to be. The only thing I can’t control is time. And it takes time to heal. Independence wise, I can do just about everything I did before, but just in a different way. But I can’t get out of the house by myself yet,” Basulto said. “Personally, my goal is to be driving again by December.”

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