Former Peninsula Panther Justin Isaac (right) is recovering in hospital after being hit by a car in Beijing where he has been coaching hockey since accepting a job with the Kaiwen Academy in February. (GoFundMe)

Former Vancouver Island hockey coach hit by car in Beijing

Justin Isaac broke both legs in accident, friends set up GoFundMe to bring him home

A former Peninsula Panther who moved to China earlier this year to teach hockey was badly injured after being hit by a car last week in Beijing and a GoFundMe account has been set up to bring him home to Vancouver Island before Christmas.

Friends of Justin Isaac started the fundraising initiative while the former Panther player and coach recovers from two surgeries in a Chinese hospital where he was transferred after suffering two compound fractures and a serious concussion in the Dec. 6 accident.

RELATED: Panthers set to close out home schedule before Christmas break

Peninsula Panthers general manager Pete Zubersky says he’s been in contact with Isaac via text.

“My understanding is that he was hit as a pedestrian and it was really cold out and he was unconscious and he was laying there for almost 90 minutes before he was attended to,” Zuberksy explains.

Isaac – who suffered two broken legs – was a popular kid who rose through the ranks of Peninsula minor hockey, Zubersky remembers, adding when he stepped into a leadership role: “I know the players liked him as an assistant coach.”

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In February, Isaac and a fellow Panthers coach left the Island team to coach overseas at the Kaiwen Academy in Beijing, where the former forward served as the Director of Hockey Operations.

“I know they were having fun over there,” says Zuberksy.

In the two days the GoFundMe has been live it’s nearly reached half its goal – at the time of this writing $8,615 had been raised; the goal is $20,000 to assist with travel, rehabilitation, recovery and loss of wages.

Jarred Isaac (foreground) snaps a selfie with his brother Justin, in a Beijing hospital where Justin is recovering after being hit by a car and breaking both legs. (GoFundMe)

Zubersky says Isaac told him he wants to get healthy enough to get home for Christmas, and for a second operation he needs. Isaac also expressed gratitude for those who have helped spread the word and to those who have donated.

His brother Jarred is with him in China, and his mother was said to be travelling there as well.

On the GoFundMe page it reads: “Anyone who knows Justin Isaac knows he’s a remarkable guy on and off the ice. His passion for hockey shines through everywhere he goes.”

To donate to Justin Isaac visit the GoFundMe page at https://bit.ly/2SLUOzA.

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