Portland, OR – A 20-year veteran of the Portland Police was seriously injured on November 19, 2012 during an on-duty ATV training at Hayden Island. The accident rendered Officer Paul Meyer, 42, paralyzed. His paraplegia was a result of a 110-foot tree breaking and striking him during the training exercise. Prior to the mishap, Meyer had served as the lead Taser and AR-15 rifle instructor for the bureau.
Meyer, his wife Mary, and their two sons, are thankful he is alive. Mary Meyer, 42, recalls getting the call when the accident happened:
“As the wife of a police officer, you think shooting, stabbing. To hear he’d been hit by a tree. I mean, you don’t prepare for that. It’s unbelievable.”
The Oregonian reports that Meyer was recently released from Legacy Good Samaritan Hospital and moved into a temporary transitional home with his family, until their Tualatin house is renovated for wheelchair accessibility.
An anonymous couple, hearing about Meyer’s unfortunate paralysis on the news, purchased a 2013 Limited Toyota Sienna minivan in cash for nearly $40,000 from Dick Hannah Toyota in Washington, and had it donated to Paul Meyer.
Brian Sanders, the dealership’s general manager said:
“They paid for it and asked us to title it in the name of Paul Meyer. In my more than 15 years in this business, I’m still at a loss of words. This whole thing just has been remarkable.”
Sanders posted on the dealership’s facebook page about his experience with the goodwill couple:
“He and his wife are not wealthy. They were both in the military and recently received a modest inheritance. They decided that a new vehicle would be a great thing to purchase with the money … They paid for it and asked us to title it in the name of Paul Meyer … These are not close friends of Paul’s. When they saw the news of the accident on tv, the husband recognized him as a man he had spoken with briefly once during a traffic stop. Outside of that brief encounter, they had never met.”
Appreciative of their unusual generosity, Meyer spoke by phone with the couple and was overcome with emotion. The station wagon the Meyer’s currently owns isn’t able to accommodate the wheelchair, and Meyer is unable to get into their SUV.
Meyer says the van is a blessing and intends to pay the deed forward.
“This is going to make an incredible impact in our lives. We’ll be able to go visit my wife’s family in Central Oregon and go as a family. We’ll be able to drive to the coast and do the things we’ve done as a family. Right now I have to focus on my health and recovery. But I promised when opportunities arise, I’ll be there for others.”