|Youth recovering at home after ATV and car collide|
By Jan Goff
Josh Dahlkoetter of rural Grant is home recovering and missing an additional week of school tacked onto Christmas vacation after being airlifted to Denver following an accident near his home during the holiday break.
He was playing with friends midday on Monday, Dec. 29, when a four-wheeler he was driving collided with a vehicle driven by a neighbor.
The 12-year-old son of Lloyd and Becky Dahlkoetter was airlifted by Air Link helicopter to Children’s Hospital in Denver due to his injuries following the accident which occurred just near the intersection of Perkins County Roads 766 and 327 at 11:40 a.m.
Josh underwent surgery for a bad break in his lower leg, and now has a plate over the tibia (shin), according to his father.
“It was a miracle,” said Lloyd Dahlkoetter, that his son didn’t sustain more severe injuries. “The rest will heal,” he said.
The average length of time could be up to 12 weeks or longer for someone his son’s age, and this area is the slowest in the body to heal, said Dahlkoetter.
Besides the severe break, there is tissue damage to Josh’s leg, but his parents are thankful their son did not receive a head injury beyond what the doctors called a contusion.
“They expect a full recovery,” said Dahlkoetter, but for now, Josh remains at home learning to cope with a wheelchair until he can put more weight on his leg. Another trip to Denver will be required for the leg to be recasted and examined for healing.
According to Sheriff Brueggeman, the driver of the automobile was 56-year-old Diana Tate of rural Grant, who was also taken by ambulance to the Perkins County Hospital where she was treated for minor injuries and released later that day.
Tate was behind the wheel of an eastbound 1990 Buick Skylark 4-door sedan, and according to Sheriff Brueggeman, the adolescent on the northbound 2007 Yamaha four-wheel ATV crossed county road 766 into her path.
Tate’s visibility was obstructed due to a row of evergreen trees.
Responding to the scene were fire and emergency medical service personnel from the Grant Volunteer Fire Department who transported both victims by ambulance to Perkins County Hospital.
Sheriff Brueggeman said the accident remains under investigation.
Dahlkoetter is a seventh grader in Perkins County Middle School. He and his family are neighbors to Tate, who teaches speech and Spanish at Perkins County High School.