'Taylor Swift' donates $15,000 to local firefighter who saved his family from wreck

HUNTSVILLE, TX (KTRK) -- A volunteer firefighter and his injured family are thankful for an outpouring of generosity from strangers, not the least of which is a donation from someone who claims to be one of pop music's superstars.

Aaron Van Riper says someone claiming to be Taylor Swift donated $15,000 to the "GoFundMe" account set up following an horrific wreck which left his wife in critical condition, his son with several broken bones.

"Fifteen thousand dollars... people don't just do that," Van Riper says, "I would like to know if it was her. I would like to thank her."

Last Saturday, Amber Van Riper and her 7-year-old son Jonathan were driving northeast of Huntsville near Riverside when the car they were in crossed the center line. They collided with an oncoming pickup.

Aaron Van riper, the assistant chief for the Thomas Lake Volunteer Fire Department, heard the emergency call and responded. He didn't realize the victims were his loved ones till he arrived on scene.

Amber Van Riper's pelvis was broken in five places, as was her back. She endured 9 hours of surgery on Sunday. Jonathan suffered a broken leg and arm. He was released from the hospital earlier this week but before he went home he had celebrity encounter too: JJ Watt came to see him.

"JJ Watt, Taylor Swift. This is some big stuff that I'm not really used to," said Van Riper.

The Van Riper family does not have medical insurance. He's a stay-at-home dad in addition to his work as a volunteer firefighter. Amber Van Riper works full time as a graphic artist but she does not have insurance through work.

Taylor Swift's representatives have not responded to our requests for comment or confirmation.

Total donations to the Go Fund Me page have so far surpassed $85,000.

The driver of the pickup truck in that crash is also still hospitalized.
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