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St. Petersburg bar raising money for bartender injured in motorcycle crash

Cassandra Andonian spent her younger years coaxing her little sisters into dresses and dolling up their hair.

Not even Barbies were allowed to look frumpy.

Now, Andonian's own beauty is concealed by bandages, tubes and closed eyes.

The 30-year-old St. Petersburg resident is in a medically induced coma after a motorcycle crash last week left her with a swollen brain.

As friends and family rally around her, Ferg's Sports Bar & Grill, where she worked as a bartender, will hold a fundraiser today. On the tables inside the bar, her charcoal hair and chrome smile adorn fliers advertising help for her medical bills. Andonian has worked at the restaurant for less than a year and had not yet signed up for health insurance.

"She has a lot of people who care about her,'' said her sister, Jackie Andonian, 21.

On Jan. 9, Cassandra and her boyfriend, Andrew Ankrum, were leaving bikers' night at Quaker Steak & Lube in Clearwater, said Pinellas Park police spokesman Sgt. Brian Unmisig.

They were headed to Biff Burger in St. Petersburg, a family member said.

They made it only a block before a car turned in front of them and they slammed into it, Unmisig said. They were taken to Bayfront Medical Center in critical condition. Neither was wearing a helmet.

The car's driver, Loan Nhan, 38, was not hurt. Unmisig said he thinks the motorcycle had the right of way. Unmisig said he doesn't expect criminal charges against the driver.

Ankrum has been discharged from the hospital. But Andonian suffered more serious injuries. She was put in a deep coma on Monday, her 30th birthday, to help her body heal, said another sister, Tabatha Andonian, 26.

"It's really like a waiting game in seeing what happens day by day," Tabatha said.


If you go

The fundraiser will start at 7 p.m. today at Ferg's Sports Bar & Grill, 1320 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. Donors will get free food, and auctions and raffles will be held to help the Andonian family.

St. Petersburg bar raising money for bartender injured in motorcycle crash 01/17/13 [Last modified: Thursday, January 17, 2013 10:33pm]
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