A Top Chef alum was involved in what sounds like a horrific boating accident over the Fourth of July weekend. Minnesota chef Justin Sutherland was reportedly driving a boat when he lost his captain’s hat. He reached out for it right when the boat had come into contact with a wave and allegedly fell in the water. Unfortunately, he was directly in the path of the boat’s propeller at that moment.
This isn't the first time a celebrity has been involved in a boating accident, and the good news is that the popular Minnesota chef and TV personality is going to be OK. However, he did suffer severe injuries during the event, including breaking his left arm. The propeller also allegedly “did a number” on his head, and his jaw is currently broken and wired shut. Due to this, he is currently is unable to talk on the phone, but he allegedly sustained no nerve damage and the fundraisers who set up the event seem to indicate Justin Sutherland is in reasonably good spirits after the incident. They even noted of his signature beard:
A Go Fund Me has been set up to help him deal with medical bills at this time. The report notes he will still be in the hospital for a while and any money raised will be used for medical bills. So far, more than 1,800 donations have poured in to the tune of $140, 593 at the time of this writing. Regardless, he will be hospitalized for a while and so his team is working toward a goal of raising $500,000.
Sutherland's family and friends have been sending updates via his Instagram account as well. Other Top Chef alums, including Dawn Burrell and Brian Malarky, sent their "love" on these social posts.
Typically, Justin Sutherland is a busy guy. He’s a chef who owns two restaurants in the Minnesota area and who fairly regularly competes for TV events. He most notably placed sixth in Top Chef: Kentucky -- the season Kelsey Barnard Clark won and Eddie "Money" is memorably from -- and has also appeared on Iron Chef America and in a recent season of Tournament of Champions on Food Network. He, along with two other Top Chef alums, also hosts Fast Foodies on truTV.
Our thoughts go out to Justin, his teams and colleagues and his family and friends who were all likely affected by this horrible accident. It sounds like it will be a long road to recovery, but I'm glad to hear the cheftestant will be OK.
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Jessica Rawden is Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. She’s been kicking out news stories since 2007 and joined the full-time staff in 2014. She oversees news content, hiring and training for the site, and her areas of expertise include theme parks, rom-coms, Hallmark (particularly Christmas movie season), reality TV, celebrity interviews and primetime. She loves a good animated movie. Jessica has a Masters in Library Science degree from Indiana University, and used to be found behind a reference desk most definitely not shushing people. She now uses those skills in researching and tracking down information in very different ways.