Exchange student's parents and host family speak about accident

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by Laura Rodriguez

Two fathers living almost 6,000 miles apart received the same dreadful phone call.

Their sons were involved in a serious car accident.

Miguel Saraví's son, Tomás Saraví, is an exchange student from Argentina studying at Lakeland Union High School in Minocqua, Wisconsin.

Steven Chart's son, Dylan Chart, is a 15-year-old athletic freshman and also a student at Lakeland Union High.

"I received a call at 3am and at first all I understood was car accident," said Miguel Saraví, the exchange student's father.

Tomás was visiting his aunt and uncle in Los Angeles, California last week and flew back to Milwaukee on Saturday.

"I had breakfast with him [Saturday] at 6am and by 6pm he was in the hospital," said Hugo Gallinas, Tomás' uncle.

Tomás' host mother, Diane Chart, picked him up with her son Dylan at Mitchell International Airport, and on the way back to Minocqua they got into a car accident in Greenfield.

Steven Chart told CBS58 he believes his wife may have stopped in Greenfield to show Tomás her alma mater, Alverno College.

Fifty-one year old Chart died hours after police say she collided with a truck on the corner of 27th Street and Cold Spring Road.

It took four restless days for Saraví's parents to see him because of difficulties processing a visa, but during that time the Rotary Youth Exchange Program District Chair had to act as his legal guardian.

"It was not difficult because in that moment you just have to make a decision and choose what is best for the student, and the doctors knew what had to be done," said Ron Skow, Rotary Youth Exchange Program District 6220 Chair.

Both families say Tomás and Dylan have a long road to recovery, but they all remain hopeful.

Funds have been set up to help with expenses:

Tomas Saravi Benefit Fund
First National Bank of Waupaca
111 Jefferson St.
PO BOX 269
Waupaca, WI 54981

Chart Family Fund
River Valley Bank
(You can donate at any River Valley bank location)


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