Local minister critically hurt in freak accident


BY BILL GUIDA
bguida@kenoshanews.com
and JOE WARD
jward@kenoshanews.com


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The Rev. Georgette Wonders, known for her commitment to social justice issues, was critically injured in a freak car accident Tuesday and was clinging to life late Wednesday.

A candlelight vigil begins at 7 p.m. Thursday at Bradford Community Church Unitarian Universalist, 5810 Eighth Ave., where Wonders is the minister.

“The community is invited to join us for prayers for peace and healing for Georgette, her family and her community,” said Dawn Lingo, president of the church’s board of trustees.

Capt. Thomas Hansche, of the Kenosha Police Department, said the accident took place shortly after 11 p.m. Tuesday.

According to the preliminary report, Wonders apparently dropped an item from her car window while in the drive-thru at McDonald’s, 8058 Sheridan Road. When she opened her door to retrieve the item, the car moved forward, striking the wall, apparently pinning her between the door and the door post.

Hansche said no other vehicles were involved. It was not known late Wednesday what caused the car to move. He said the investigation is ongoing.

Work on homeless shelter

Wonders worked late Tuesday night meeting with fellow members of the Kenosha County Clergy Association to discuss the Shalom Center’s plans for a permanent homeless shelter.

Group members unanimously voted in favor of the project and picked Wonders to write a letter of support and to deliver it at Wednesday night’s neighborhood meeting about the project.

However, with Wonders hospitalized in critical condition, another clergy person read the letter.

“As ministers, we are more than aware of the many who struggle to find a living wage,” Wonders wrote. “We know there are ones who would demean the homeless and the less fortunate. We must realize, most of your clients are invisible, preferring not to be a stereotype.”

Residents at the public meeting were shocked to learn of her accident and injuries, with many hearing the news for the first time. The meeting was interrupted to hold a moment of silence.

Family by her side

In a message to the Bradford congregation, Lingo said Wonders’ family was by her side at a local hospital and asked that their privacy be respected.

Lingo said they are not accepting calls or visits at this time. The family requested the congregation “keep them in our thoughts and prayers,” Lingo said.

Lingo told the Kenosha News: “Rev. Georgette Wonders is our minister and dear friend. The congregation is keeping her example of joyful, compassionate ministry as we gather for prayers for hope and healing.”


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