Closings & Delays

Woman aims to help brother’s recovery following January car crash in Harrisburg

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YORK TOWNSHIP, York County, Pa. --- On January 12, investigators say John Barber, 27, sped away from a police stop in Harrisburg.

Police say he then ran a red light at the intersection of Commonwealth Avenue and Forster Street and struck a truck containing six people, including Charlie Rohrbaugh, 48, of Gardners, on his way to the Pennsylvania Farm Show.

Rohrbaugh was ejected from the truck and suffered life-threatening injuries.

His sister, Shirley Rohrbaugh, 43, said he is currently recovering in the WellSpan Surgery and Rehabilitation Hospital’s brain injury unit undergoing physical, occupational and cognitive therapy.

“Now, he’s able to walk around and he can talk whereas in the beginning, he wasn’t," said Rohrbaugh.

Rohrbaugh said her brother, who loves outdoor activities such as hunting, is chomping at the bit.

“Right now, he’s talking about going home and splitting wood. That’s what he wants to do. That’s what he’s looking forward to: going home and chopping wood for the wood stove,” said Rohrbaugh.

A month into recovery, Shirley said a lot of unknowns await her brother's future, such as when he could be able to get back to work.

“The doctors tell me as much as they know about the brain, there’s twice as much they don’t know and of course, full recovery is possible but it’s not guaranteed and they don’t know how long that would take,” said Rohrbaugh.

According to court documents, Barber was driving on a suspended license and was not insured.

The financial burden falls back on Rohrbaugh.

Shirley said Charlie has some pieces in place, including medical insurance and short-term disability.

However, she’s concerned about his co-payments and households bills, such as electricity and mortgage payments, piling up.

She’s starting a GoFundMe for her brother to try and take a burden off of him so his sole focus can be his recovery.

“He didn’t ask for this to happen…I just want [don't] want him to lose his life savings over something he had no control over, just being at the wrong spot at the wrong time,” said Rohrbaugh.

She said Charlie could be released as soon as this weekend with continued supervision and therapy.

Barber waived two preliminary appearances and is scheduled to be formally arraigned on March 15.

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