Government shutdown prevents family from helping coma victim


The family of a Minnesota man critically hurt in a car accident last week is inadvertently being affected in major way by the federal government shutdown, KSTP-TV reports.

Wade Souster's family says they can't hold a benefit to help raise money for Souster's medical bills because they need to obtain a tax identification number from Internal Revenue Service to set up a fund at a bank. Operations at the IRS, however, have been curbed due to the partial federal government shutdown.

Souster, 31, of Inver Grove Heights, has minimal insurance, the station says.

The man remains hospitalized in a coma and on a ventilator after the accident, which took place at approximately 4 a.m. Thursday. Officials say Souster was hit and left for dead near the intersection of Phalen Boulevard and Atlantic Street.

Souster suffered a significant brain injury in the accident, along with multiple fractures and bruising of the lungs.

The driver of the vehicle that hit Souster has not been located.

Souster's family held a news conference Monday to urge the driver to come forward. They also ask anyone with information to please contact St. Paul police.

The Star Tribune reports that Souster's longtime employer, the Downtowner Car Wash in St. Paul, is offering a $2,500 reward for information that leads to a conviction in the case.

Police are looking for a dark-colored car with possible damage to the front end.

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