LEHI, Utah – A benefit concert at a park in Lehi Saturday raised money for a detention officer who lost his leg in a crash involving an allegedly impaired driver.
The concert at Bandwagon Park was for the benefit of Sgt. Daniel Erickson, who had his left leg amputated above the knee after another driver crossed the center line and hit him as he rode his motorcycle.
Music drifted across the park lawn, the smell of hot dogs wafted into the air and children laughed as they ran around the playground and got their faces painted.
The adults struck up conversation as they listened to the bands jam out on stage.
"I live a couple blocks down," said one man, after introducing himself to Daniel Erickson.
"Good to meet you Ernie, Daniel Erickson. Appreciate you coming," Erickson said, leaning on his cane for stability.
Erickson met a flurry of new faces, but everyone he introduced himself to already knew who he was.
"I heard the story right from the beginning," said Kortney Every, a friend-of-a-friend of Erickson's who attended the fundraiser. "It just broke my heart. It's so tragic, he's got lots of little kids."
Erickson and his wife, Dacya, have four children all under the age of six years old. The youngest is six months.
The crash left Erickson in the hospital for weeks. When he was finally discharged, the family faced another hurdle: soaring medical bills, including the purchase of a prosthetic leg.
"The prosthetic is a little bit hard, it's like learning to walk all over again," Erickson said at the concert.
Dealton Lyman said he wanted to help Erickson pay for the prosthetic by organizing the concert, especially because Erickson has always been generous himself.
“Initially it was really hard to hear about and everything, he's been a good friend for many years, but his whole attitude with everything has just been amazing,” Lyman said. “And the whole community is just kind of rallying to help him out."
Many who showed up to the concert didn't personally know Erickson.
"To me, it's just the neighborly thing to do," said Lehi resident Sandy Bliss.
"Every little bit helps," Chad Every said.
The music and good times certainly reflected Erickson's upbeat attitude.
"The main reason is just for my family, to be there for them, to stay positive for them," he said. "I can't change what happened so there's no point in getting mad or angry about it. So, I'm just focused on staying positive and healing."
An outlook deepened by seeing so many come out to support the family.
"We just want them to know that we're so grateful, and that we really appreciate it," Dacya said.
Saturday's event included free food, live music and prize drawings. Lyman said 100 percent of the proceeds from the concert will benefit the Erickson family.
A GoFundMe page has also been set up to support the Erickson family.