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Local News in Brief : Laguna Hills : Fund Set Up to Help Family Burned in Crash

A fund has been set up to assist three members of a Laguna Hills family severely burned in a fiery car accident Tuesday in San Diego.

Parishioners at the Shepherd of Peace Lutheran Church in Irvine have established the Dunham Family Fund to aid Steve Dunham; his wife, Cheryl, and their daughter, Amanda, 3.

The Dunhams remained hospitalized Friday in San Diego while recovering from injuries suffered in a collision that killed Andrew Dunham, 5. The surviving Dunhams suffered second- and third-degree burns over 25% to 30% of their bodies after the gas tank in their van exploded when the van was rear-ended by another vehicle during rush-hour traffic on Interstate 5 just north of La Jolla.

“Their expenses are going to be horrendous,” said the Dunhams’ pastor, the Rev. James Haupt. The fund is going “to cover expenses you can’t cover with insurance.” The family has medical insurance through Steve Dunham’s job with a hardware company, Haupt added, but he is expected to be out of work for months.

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A spokeswoman for the UC San Diego Medical Center reported Friday that the conditions of Steve and Amanda Dunham had been upgraded from critical to fair. They remain in the hospital’s burn unit. Cheryl Dunham was still in fair condition and was moved from the intensive care unit Friday.

“Everybody’s doing better,” said Sheri Smith, medical center spokeswoman. Contributions to the Dunham Family Fund are welcome, Haupt said. Checks made out to the fund can be sent to the Shepherd of Peace Lutheran Church, 18182 Culver Drive, Irvine 92715.


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