A homeless man known to many North Beach residents just as Les will finally be heading back home to friends and family in Georgia after spending a year hospitalized following a hit-and-run accident. Selester Rowe, 63, was struck while crossing Columbus Avenue by a late 90s model Chevy SUV almost exactly a year ago in May 2012, and severely injured to the point that he has not recovered the ability to speak. He was cleared to be released into a family's care after a few months, however, but his family lacked the funds to transport him by air ambulance all the way across the country.
The trip is going to cost $17,400, as the Examiner reports, and his family managed to raise the sum through donations, beginning with a fish fry benefit they held at the local Piggly Wiggly in Columbus, GA. Les's sister La’Creaser Rowe tells KCBS that they raised $2,000 that day, and they've also been helped by former San Francisco 49er James Johnson, a native of Columbus who went to the same high school as Rowe.
No date's been set for Rowe's return, though, because they haven't yet located a bed for him in a rehabilitation facility near Columbus.
Rowe's hit-and-run happened on May 12, 2012, and left him with severe spine and brain injuries. The suspect vehicle was never found.