HUDSON — Disabled Vietnam veteran Tim Carmack and his family can move into their home legally, thanks to the Sinkhole Guy.
Taylor Yarkosky, head of the Brooksville-based sinkhole repair company Advanced Pier Technology, read the St. Petersburg Times story about Carmack's struggles and came to the rescue.
"I've got a real passion for helping people who don't have a voice or who don't have power to get where they need to be," said Yarkosky, who has a website askthesinkholeguy.com and who works for consumer law firms. "I thought, 'I can write a check to help this guy and feel damn good doing it.'"
Carmack, 65, suffers from a disease contracted when he was an Army sergeant fighting in Vietnam. He uses a wheelchair and is unable to work. A fire in December severely damaged his mobile home.
State Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, helped him overcome insurance red tape and replace the home for a larger one, but the increased size meant Carmack owed Pasco County $2,927 in impact fees before he could move in with his wife and two sons.
Yarkosky wrote a check to Pasco County for the total amount and sent it by overnight mail to Fasano, who delivered it Tuesday.
"It's nice to see a community coming together to help a disabled veteran and his family," Fasano said.
Yarkosky wasn't the only one moved by Carmack's story. Todd Pressman, president of his Palm Harbor-based lobbying firm and newly appointed chairman of the Southwest Florida Water Management District's governing board, rounded up $1,000 in commitments from businesses. By Tuesday afternoon, at least $700 of that was already in a special fund for the Carmacks at Regions Bank.
"It's like a huge weight gone, a very huge weight," said Carmack's wife, Shannon, 34, who had to quit work to care for Tim full time. "If we could have saved that month-to-month and made payments, it wouldn't have been a problem."
Shannon thanked everyone who donated and said any leftover money would be spent on building a new wheelchair ramp and grab bars in the bathroom that would allow her husband more independence.