Crawlin’ competitor recovering in Denver
EAGLE — The competitor who was transported from the Crawlin’ to a Cure arena after a serious rollover accident Saturday night is recovering at Denver Health Medical Center.
“The family told me his doctor has said it is going to be a very positive outcome,” said Crawlin’ to a Cure organizer Vikki Hobbs. “When we heard that it was like a miracle to us. It’s like Tiffany was watching out for him.”
Travis Gwinn, of Moab 4X4 Outpost, was the third competitor at last Saturday’s event, which is a fundraiser for the Tiffany Myers Memorial Keepin’ ’em Real Scholarship Fund, which honors a long-time local who carried on a nine-year battle against breast cancer. During the finals competition, Gwinn rolled his rock crawler on an obstacle that he had successfully negotiated earlier in the day.
“It was really scary for all of us,” said Hobbs.
Hobbs noted rollovers are common during 4X4 racing and that the vehicles are designed to handle such accidents. But when Gwinn rolled his buggy, his head struck the roll bar and he sustained four compression fractures to his C-1 vertebra.
“The people at Denver Health said everyone did what they were supposed to do and that’s why Travis is doing as well as he is,” said Hobbs.
Hobbs noted that Gwinn is a very experienced 4X4 competitor.
“These kinds of rollovers happen all the time on the trails but this is the first year we have had an injury,” said Hobbs. “Actually, rollovers on the trails are way worse than what happened.”
Gwinn is not only an experienced buggy driver, he makes a living building rock crawlers, said Hobbs.
“This is someone who crawls Moab every day,” she said. “He has raced with us every year and this is the family’s favorite event. They are huge supporters of Crawlin’ to a Cure.”
Before they drive out into the arena, all Crawlin’ to a Cure competitors sign a waiver acknowledging the dangers of rock crawler racing. Hobbs said both fans and competitors are fully aware of the potential hazards of the sport.
Assisting with recovery
Hobbs reported that Gwinn underwent surgery Thursday morning to stabilize his neck and assist with his recovery. According to reports from the family, the procedure was a success.
A Go Fund Me account has been set up to assist the Gwinn family with medical expenses and donations can be directed to http://www.gofundme.com/2jrenqr8. The site can be reached from the Crawlin’ to a Cure Facebook page. Additionally a donation fund has been set up at the Mountain America Credit Union Bank in Moab.