Donations needed for teen seriously injured in motorcycle crash

Zac Lutz is a soldier in the United States Army.

LANCASTER – Driving to his second day of work at Antelope Valley Harley Davidson, 19-year-old Zac Lutz was involved in a motorcycle accident.

Zac was driving north on 45th Street West the morning of April 24, heading toward Quartz Hill Road, when a woman in ’99 Dodge pickup truck u-turned in front of him, said Clyde Merrick, Lutz’s stepdad.

“I feel like she didn’t look. Zac was in lane where he was very easy to see,” he said. “Had she really looked in the mirror, she would have seen him.”

Merrick added that Zac was driving next to a long row of parked cars, which was highly unusual for the neighborhood. He said because of those cars, the deputy claimed inexperience on Zac’s part. Being a motorcyclist himself, Merrick said Zac was doing exactly what he should have been doing.

According to witness statements, Zac crashed around 40-50 mph landing face-first, Merrick said.

Zac’s injuries are extensive. His brain had swelling the first few days, but it has subsided quite a bit; he also had a concussion and has a brain injury, Merrick said.

Doctors said his head injury is improving “better than expected,” he said.

He has multiple face fractures and a broken jaw. Zac’s left elbow, wrist, and thumb are broken and two very high ribs are broken. Zac already had surgery on his right femur, which was broken in several pieces. He will have surgery to replace his left knee Tuesday because it was completely dislocated. The doctors also said his left leg has nerve damage, which may be permanent.

Zac is in the Sheriff's Explorer Program.

“Zac’s got so much determination and will power on anything he does, so we’ll let Zac have the say on if that’s permanent or not,” Merrick said.

After each surgery, Zac has been given blood, and he will need more of it coming up, Merrick said. Antelope Valley Outpatient Imaging Center (AVOIC) is donating blood in Zac’s name three days this week, he added.

Blood donations will take place at 44105 15th Street West on Tuesday May 1 from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., Wednesday May 2 from 7 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Thursday May 3 from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

“It doesn’t matter the blood type, and if they don’t use your blood for Zac, they’ll put it in the bank and they can use it for someone else,” he said. “We want to see as many people do that as possible.”

Realistically, Merrick said the recovery time for Zac will be multiple years. After his surgery Tuesday, Zac will be at the AV Hospital between one to three weeks. Then he will need brain and physical rehabilitation in another facility.

“He’s going to be in hospital somewhere for the next three months. This road to recovery will be epic in nature,” Merrick said. “It’s a major major set back.”

He had ambitious goals in life, but those plans are now uncertain, Merrick said.

Close friend Ivy Bedard said she thinks a lot of things are going to be different now, but she does not doubt that Zac will get better.

“He’s already showing good signs,” Bedard said. “He’s surprising everyone right now.”

Some of the major plans that may change are his wedding date and his career goals.

Zac was getting married in a few months and has already sent out wedding invitations.

Zac and his fiancée have already sent out invitations for their wedding in a few months, but they’re not sure if that’s going to be able to happen, Merrick said. He also said Zac’s career goal was to be a deputy Sheriff in the SWAT Team. Zac had joined the Army as a soldier, as well as joined the Sheriff’s Explorer program to get in as soon as he could.

After hearing about the crash, Capt. Daniel Hernandez, commander of the Los Alamitos Reserve Center, came out and helped the family get the facts on what really happened to Zac, said Merrick. He added that someone from the Army has been there for them asking if they can do anything to help.

“That’s been remarkable,” Merrick said. “I feel like a part of something big. People are rallying around a United States soldier.”

“It’s been phenomenal, the support we’re receiving,” he added. “It’s kind of an ironic twist that it takes a tragedy to unite people.”

Even the family dynamic is changing, Merrick said.

“We’ve put every bit of differences aside. This has brought all of us together,” Merrick said. “Stacy (Zac’s stepmom) been there for Jeff (Zac’s dad), and I’ve been there for Robin (Zac’s mom).”

Merrick said their lives right now are completely focused on Zac’s recovery.

“Zac’s the one who crashed on the motorcycle, but we’re all going through it,” he said.

To help with the medical bills, Bedard has organized a car wash fundraiser.

The fundraiser will be held May 12 at the Antelope Valley Harley Davidson from 8:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. Pre-sale tickets are $5 for cars and $7 for trucks. Tickets on the day of the car wash will be $8 for cars and $10 for trucks.

People can go to the Antelope Valley High School District office or the public Facebook page here to purchase a ticket in advance, Bedard said.

As Miss Antelope Valley, Bedard has organized and participated in many fundraisers, but because this is personal for her, it is a different experience.

“It means a whole lot more to do this now,” she said.

  38 comments for “Donations needed for teen seriously injured in motorcycle crash

  1. Zac Lutz
    January 1, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    Hello thank you everyone for all your support and love. I am doing very well walking like normal and going day by day, it amazes me how many warm hearted people there are in the av and how many people truly cared. Thanks for everything av, all ur support definitely helped me get through a lot. God bless and have a great new year!

  2. T-Bone
    June 11, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    Iron Man, I am very glad you are getting stronger and could be coming home soon. You are one tough cookie!! Keep on Keeping on!

  3. May 30, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    Zac, thank God you are doing better each day. Keep it up! Every week you get a little stronger and stronger..God a date to make buddy…Love you, Mom2

  4. jess
    May 9, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    Zac I hope you get better just keep holding in there…. I know you are strong. I believe in that you will be ok and will he back with your family

  5. christina fitton
    May 8, 2012 at 11:34 am



  6. Zacs Mom
    May 5, 2012 at 7:07 am

    The support for Zac has been amazing. It is the love & prayers from so many people that is keeeping us strong. Zac is improving a little each day. He still has one or two more surgeries. The blood bank came to the hospital to thank us, the response to the blood drive required them to call in help. We are truely blessed to know so much love. Our family thanks you <3 xoxo
    Much love, Robin

    • Kelli (Carter) Branson
      May 6, 2012 at 9:00 am

      Robin,I can’t imagin, your pain. I can only tell you my prayers are with Zac, and all of your family.
      Take Care,

    • Legal iz ez
      May 7, 2012 at 12:10 pm

      Thank you so much for updating us. As a fellow mom of motorcycle riders and having one son in the military, I have been concerned about Zac’s accident and his injuries. I pray that God will give him supernatural strength to heal and get through this. My love and prayers go out to you and your family. I will be at the Harley Davidson car wash/bike wash on Saturday and hope to see a huge turnout for our fellow rider and soldier!

  7. Amber Torres
    May 3, 2012 at 11:34 pm

    Zac, me and my family are praying for you. I pray you recover everything and anything that the doctor says “might be lost”. That your spirit stays up and proud because you’re a great kid (man) :). God bless you and yours.

  8. Lisbeth Ramirez
    May 3, 2012 at 9:12 am

    From Lancaster Explorer Post 523 and all the LASD AV Academy Staff we offer you our support and we are all praying for you. You are a strong person and have come along way. We know the road to recovery wont be easy but you seem to have it all under control. God Bless you and your family!!

  9. Staci & Jeff Lutz
    May 3, 2012 at 9:11 am

    Zac, your dad and I love you very much. Your such a strong soul we know your recovery will be long and hard for a while but were right by your side every step of the way.

  10. May 3, 2012 at 9:00 am

    My thoughts for a speedy recovery and a bright future for you and your family.

    • Clyde
      May 3, 2012 at 11:14 pm

      I love you Tony…

  11. bob & sharon crampton
    May 2, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    you are in our prayers…….

  12. Kathy
    May 2, 2012 at 7:41 am

    You go ZAC!! Love and prayers to you, Nikki, and your awesome family! You’ll shock us all with your recovery!

    God Bless You,

    Kathy McMillin

  13. Gianni Alvarez
    May 2, 2012 at 6:55 am

    I graduated the L.A.S.D Sheriff Explorer Academy; class 85 with this man… I’ve never really felt sick to my stomach like this. I remember the last time seeing you in person Lutz, I was walking back home from the mall with my girlfriend and before we left the mall parking lot you came riding along on your motorcyle stopping right in front of me and scaring the hell out of me… you did great in the academy, and in life, I’ll be there to donate some blood and money. You were a source of motivation and dedication for me Lutz, Explorer post 699, Palmdale Station is always praying for you.

    – Explorer Alvarez.

  14. Karen Usevitch
    May 1, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    Zac, even though we don’t personally know you, we do know your brother Andrew. We pray for your recovery. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. We are going to go and donate blood, hope this will somehow help you. Paul and Karen Usevitch

  15. "Judge" Judy and Chuck
    May 1, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    Our prayers go out to you Zac, Robin, Clyde and family. Keep us posted by e-mail.

  16. "Judge" Judy and Chuck
    May 1, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    Our prayers go out to Zac, Robin, Clyde and family. Keep us posted via e-mail.

  17. Allan Rabinowitz
    May 1, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    Hey zac me and the rabinowitz family are praying for you to heal soon and you will always be in our thoughts love ya man get better soon :’)

  18. Helen Schafer
    May 1, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    As your 5th Grade teacher, I saw amazing determination on your part. I know you will heal and achieve your goals. Stay strong! I am praying for you!
    Helen Schafer

  19. Tami
    May 1, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    Nicole (Nikki?),
    We just found out about you, actually. We are friends of the family. Clyde & my husband Guy are child-hood friends. We will keep you ALL in our prayers… and daily too.
    Take it one day at a time… and know that even when you feel all alone that the Lord truly cares. He really does. My favorite verse; Phil 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneths me (strengthens me)” (KJV). Take care & let us know if we can do anything, Tami

  20. Lisette Calzada
    May 1, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    May God continue to give Zac the strength and willpower to live life to the fullest! My prayers are with him and his family! Much love to you all.

    EHS Registrar

  21. Yukari
    May 1, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    Im praying everyday for you,Zac,my little brother. Love you so much..

  22. Checkwood Family
    May 1, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    We will always be here if your family needs anything!! In our prayers!! Take care :)

  23. Tina
    May 1, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    I love you Zac soo much, And i am praying for you everyday as well as many others i know. Your such a strong person and have soo many people that love and care for you. I am very proud to call you my brother-in-law. love you ZAC!!!

  24. Nicole
    May 1, 2012 at 11:19 am

    I love you Zac and I will always be by your side. I am strong – because you make me strong. We’re praying everyday and I cant wait until I can see you smile again. Love you honeybee

    • T-Bone
      May 2, 2012 at 7:23 am

      Nicole, Thank you for being there Day in, Day out as you are. I know this is a very hard time for you but please rest assured we are there for you of you need anything. Love and Payers are coming from all over the US for you both!

  25. Janice
    May 1, 2012 at 10:08 am

    Zac is a fighter and Nikkis Faith and Love are making her strong. They are soul mates and NOTHING can tear them apart…

  26. Karen White
    May 1, 2012 at 10:06 am

    We are extremely happy that Zac is moving in the right direction, even though we know he has a long road ahead.

    Everyone at Littlerock HS sends their prayers and good wishes to Zac’s speedy recovery and to the day he won’t need another surgery.

    Zac, you are constantly in our thoughts, along with your family, as you work through this and will be there when you need us.

    May God continue to watch over you !


  27. jenna
    May 1, 2012 at 9:16 am

    So proud of you zac!! i love you so much!! i can’t wait to be by your side!

  28. T-Bone
    May 1, 2012 at 2:26 am

    You are a Strong Young Man! We are all praying for you and can’t wait to see you up on your feet and making us laugh again! You have a Great support group of Friends and Family that will be there for you when ever you need.
    Love you Man!

    • Yo Mama
      May 1, 2012 at 2:39 am

      Thank you, My Brother…

      • T-Bone
        May 1, 2012 at 4:05 am

        You know it Bro!

        • Clyde
          May 2, 2012 at 7:06 am

          No, really. Thank you..

  29. Clyde
    May 1, 2012 at 1:44 am

    His love’s name is Nicole. She’s been vigilant through this whole thing. She’s a very srong individual in her own right. Their future plans are on hold, but far from gone. They’re both beautiful people, and will pull through all of this just fine.

    Our lives changed last Tuesday…I write this by his side in the ICU where I’ll be as long as this takes. While others just go on about their day.

    I love you, Zac…

    • Peggy Duffy
      May 1, 2012 at 10:46 am

      We are all praying for your family. As fellow riders, we know that we are inches and seconds from disaster. Your son is in our thoughts.
      Peggy and Eddie

  30. Yo Mama
    May 1, 2012 at 1:20 am

    I love you, Zac…

Comments are closed.