On March 23, 1969, 11-year old Douglas DeWysocki was sitting alone on a lawn when two cars collided with each other on Fifth and Union Aves. One of the cars came up on the lawn, striking the boy and causing him serious injury: multiple fractures of both legs and a broken arm as well as cuts to the head and body, causing him to lose nearly four pints of blood and be put in a body cast. Months earlier, DeWysocki lost his father to a heart attack. Three weeks later, he awoke to find his mother dead of a cerebral hemorrhage. DeWysocki’s survival of the accident was nothing short of a miracle. At the time of the accident, he had been living with his sister and brother in law who stepped up to take care of him but his sisters insurance did not cover his medical expenses. Many adults and children in town stepped up and held several fund raisers to help cover the costs. According to his sister, DeWysocki never complained once while in the cast or the hospital despite the fact that he was unable to walk and had a long recovery ahead.
A neighbor set up a fund that reached $2,750 and 125 children went door to door and held drives and raised $700. While DeWysocki was in Jersey Shore Medical Center, Apollo 9 astronaut Rusty Schweikart, a 1959 graduate of Manasquan High School, visited him and shook his hand. When DeWysocki returned home, he was visited by Senate President Francis X. McDermott, who presented him with political campaign buttons, and according to a relative, he was also visited by Cleon Jones and Ed Kranepool from the 1969 Miracle Mets.
Neptune City mayor Holes Adams declared Douglas DeWysocki Weekend on July 12 and 13 of 1969. Doctors noted his recovery progress as remarkable. One year later, DeWysocki and his sister were awarded a total of $68,576 as a settlement from the accident.
“$68,000 Settles Suit For Injury.” The Asbury Park Press, 3 Dec. 1970.
“Astronaut Sets Hospital Visit.” The Asbury Park Press, 19 Apr. 1969.
“DeWysocki Boy Home, Medical Funds at $1802.”The Asbury Park Press, 1969.
“DeWysocki Contributions Top $2,750.” The Asbury Park Press, 19 June 1969.
“Former Neighbors Tell Schweikart He’s ‘A-Ok’.” The Asbury Park Press, 20 April 1969.
“Fund Set For Boy Orphaned, Injured.” The Asbury Park Press, 8 April 1969.
“Injured Boy to Get $700 From Drive.” The Asbury Park Press, 19 May 1969.
“McDermott Forecasts Monmouth County Win.” The Asbury Park Press, 27 May 1969.