Car Crash Left Paralyzing Results for Expectant Mother

A February 9 car crash forever changed the lives of Marcella Wagner and Dave Campbell.

Six weeks before the North State couple’s first baby was to be born, Marcella was driving to Chico State University where she was pursuing her nursing degree.

Her car was run off the road and flipped multiple times before coming to a stop. The driver of the white Honda Pilot didn’t stop to see the life-altering course that he or she forced upon Marcella, Dave and their unborn child. 

Doctors delivered Logan Otis Campbell via emergency C-section at Mercy Medical Center. The baby weighed  3 lbs, 15 oz.  Logan is strong and is fairing well, considering his early and traumatic entrance into this world.

Once Logan was delivered, surgeons turned their attention to Marcella’s extensive injuries, the most pressing of which was located between her 5th and 6th cervical vertebrae. During the initial surgery, doctors fused her spinal vertebrae from C5 to T1 on the anterior side, using an incision along her throat, and moved her trachea aside to get to the spine. In order to reinforce the work done in the first surgery, a second surgery was required to fuse the same group of vertebrae on the posterior side.

Presently, though Marcella is out of immediate danger, her condition remains uncertain. She has some feeling and movement in her arms, but her spinal cord was partially severed. The extent to which she will recover mobility is unknown. Marcella will eventually be moved to a rehabilitation facility.

Both Marcella and Dave have strong roots in Redding. Dave graduated from Shasta High School, and Marcella attended Foothill High School and left the area to attend college, but after a brief hiatus, she returned the the North State to pursue higher education. 

The couple’s paths crossed in 2008, when they found each other with the help of Together, they blended their worlds, sharing their love of mountain biking, camping and spending time with family and friends. They married on June 19, 2010, with Mt. Shasta as a backdrop.

They both have dedicated time and energy to make Redding a better place. Dave has volunteered many summers as a counselor at Camp McCumber, a residential summer camp offered by the YMCA. He is an avid mountain biker who created a timing program to aid the timing process for various races in the North State.

Marcella earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from CSU, Chico, thinking law school would be her next step. While working in new accounts for Scott Valley Bank, she had a change of heart and decided to pursue her degree in nursing. She finished her pre-requisites at Shasta College and was accepted into the CSU nursing program. She was only a few months into the program when the crash occurred.

Thus far, the generosity and compassion displayed by friends, family and the community have been phenomenal. Even so, people continue to step forward to donate time, talent and treasure to support this family. Currently, teams are working to retrofit Dave and Marcella’s house for wheelchair-accessibility.

However, Marcella and Dave’s needs remain great, and they are aware that they have a long road ahead of them as they face and build a life vastly different from the one they’d planned. Family and friends continue to hope and pray for more than is expected. Doctors say only time will tell.

4 Ways to help

Fundraiser at Carnegies1600 Oregon Street, Redding. Sat., Feb. 25,  5-9 p.m. $50 per person. Appetizers, beer, wine, door prizes, raffles more. 

Give on-line at:

Donate funds: North Valley Bank,  3315 Placer Street (inside Holiday Market) via the  “Marcella Wagner New Beginnings Fund”

Contribute labor or material to help retrofit the couple’s home for wheelchair-access. For more information contact

-from press release
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9 Responses

  1. Avatar Ursula says:

    A sad and tragic thing that has happened to such a wonderful couple.

    I happen to know Dave and Marcella very well. They are kind and loving.

    I am happy to see that our community is pulling together to help them out.

    The event fund raiser at Carnegie's this Saturday is a must attend event!

    I only hope that the person who has caused this terrible chain of events does the right thing and comes forward to take responsibility for their actions. It would be the right thing to do.

  2. Avatar Darbie Andrews says:

    There's a zumba fundraiser Sunday February 26 3-5 pm at sequoia Middle

    school. $10.

  3. Avatar Gwen Lawler Tough says:

    I can't attend the fundraiser @ Carnegies but have donated through website. Their fund now has about $9,000 !!! Their goal is 50k. This is a story about how God brings good out of bad…so many people coming forward to help this couple and their prematurely born, but thriving, infant son. Another miracle, right in front of us.

  4. Avatar Ron says:

    Such tragic news here..Hard to sometimes Find a Blessing in a time like this.. Please keep Us posted. We really ALL have so much to offer,in many ways to Help this Family here,,Im In !!

    Many Blessings..2R's

  5. Avatar Gwen Lawler Tough says:

    Does anyone know what kind of money was raised at the Carnegie's fundraiser for Marcella Wagner and her family?

  6. Avatar Cheri Davis says:

    Hi Gwen,

    It says on my Carnegie's Facebook page that they raised $6886.00 for the family! And there was also a Zumba benefit on Sunday, I am not sure how much that raised, but there were a ton of people there too.



  7. Avatar Gwen Lawler Tough says:

    Thanks for that update, Cheri. Marcella's online Youcaring fund is now (2/29) at $10k. Their goal is 50k. Share this on FB, people. Thanks! This family has such a long, hard road ahead. I know our Redding community will be there for them.

  8. Avatar Gwen Lawler Tough says:

    Greg Wagner, Marcella's husband, says on his update that their baby, Logan, is now home!! He was released after only two weeks in the hospital!!!! So Dave's Mom is with Marcella so Dave can take care of his newborn and THRIVING son! for the full update, go to

  1. April 21, 2013

    […] Her car was run off the road and flipped multiple times before coming to a stop. The driver of the white Honda Pilot didn’t stop to see the life-altering course that he or she forced upon Marcella, Dave and their unborn child.” (Source) […]