Family and friends of Amir "Nick" Ekbatani, who was seriously injured in a collision at Pacific Coast Highway and Diamond Street on Saturday night, have raised more than $25,000 as of Tuesday afternoon to help with his medical bills.
Preliminary reports indicate that Ekbatani, 25, was riding his motorcycle northbound on Pacific Coast Highway when he collided with a taxi cab that was making a left from southbound Pacific Coast Highway eastbound on Diamond Street, according to traffic investigator Jeff Mendence of the . Ekbatani flew off his motorcycle and ended up in front of the Starbucks on the corner.
Ekbatani was wearing his helmet at the time of the collision.
He was transported to Harbor UCLA Medical Center, where he underwent surgery.
"The family indicated that he lost a portion of his left leg due to the collision," Mendence said.
The investigation into the incident is ongoing, Mendence said. Police will examine "all environmental, mechanical (and) human aspects" of the collision.
Right now, Ekbatani is recuperating, his friend Kim Macedo told Patch in a phone conversation Tuesday afternoon. He is talking and carrying on conversations.
"He's doing much better today," Macedo said.
Macedo has spearheaded a push to raise $50,000 to pay for a prosthesis for the former UCLA offensive lineman.
"I want to do all I can to make sure (Nick) will have the best prosthetics he can get so he can restart his life being as active and social as he was before the accident," Macedo wrote on the donation website. "We don't HAVE to reach this goal, but if we did, I know it would be a huge weight lifted off from the Ekbatanis' backs."
Macedo told Patch that it's "really unbelievable" how much support the "Big Nick Fund" has received already.
"I just wanted to have a little bit of money to help pay for (Ekbani's) medical bills," Macedo said. "It's amazing to see how this thing is growing. It hasn't even been 24 hours."
Since the fund was established, more than 300 individual donations have been made.
"He's got an incredible support system," Macedo said. "It's so many people that are just so selfless who are willing to give him the support and love that he needs right now…
"He is … going to overcome this and come back stronger than ever."
Ekbatani grew up in Torrance and attended South High School, where he played varsity football for three years, according to his player biography on the official website of UCLA Athletics. As a Spartan, he was honored with second-team All-CIF, first-team All-Los Angeles Region and first-team All-Bay League selections as either an offensive or defensive lineman. He also received a most-valuable player award and was on the varsity wrestling team.
He graduated from UCLA in 2009 with a bachelor's degree in political science.
For more information on the Big Nick Fund, visit gofundme.com/venb8.