Paradis native suffers severe injuries in head-on collision

Tara Bate with her children
Tara Bate with her children before her devastating head-on collision in Mississippi.

Tara Bate’s life had already been hard by the time she was severely injured in a head-on crash in Mississippi, but she would soon learn that her family and friends weren’t going to leave her without help.

“My daughter was airlifted from the wreck to the hospital ICU,” said Bate’s mother, Mercedes Truxillo. “The legs were extensively damaged and awaiting skin grafts, rods were implanted in them and plates holding her legs together. The doctor said it was miraculous she was still alive.”

A resident of Paradis for 24 years, Bate relocated to Mississippi to avoid a contentious divorce. She was situating her three children when every changed on July 21.

“My daughter has two broken legs, with continuing risk of losing one leg, and multiple facial fractures,” Truxillo said.

The cause of the wreck is still under investigation, and Bate has no memory of the accident.

“She’s very depressed … afraid to her lose her leg and worried about her children,” Truxillo said. “Her mental state is not the best. She suffers from anxiety.”

Bate’s daughter started her first day in junior high in the parish and she was distraught over not being there.

Truxillo, who still works full time, has been working between the parish and Mississippi to handle it all, but she doesn’t hesitate to add she’s doing it with the help of family and friends.

It was all needed.

Bate, who had been brought to Forrest General Hospital in Hattiesburg, Miss., was soon released to Truxillo’s astoundment.

Her daughter was released to home health care, but Truxillo said they couldn’t find anyone willing to deal with her because of her extensive injuries and then the medical bills started mounting.

“This caught us off guard releasing her like they did,” she said.

Bate needs physical therapy, multiple surgeries to rebuild her legs and this doesn’t address her facial injuries, which could include losing her teeth.

She is a long time from resuming her job with a trucking company in the parish.

Truxillo said family and friends are helping raise money to cover expenses with collection jars throughout the parish, her sister-in-law is planning a poker run, and a Gofundme account has established


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