Girl hospitalized after ATV crash
May 26, 2009
A Coalville girl was on a respirator this week at University Hospital after she crashed on an all-terrain vehicle May 21.
Brianna Schmidt, the 16-year-old daughter of Coalville Mayor Duane Schmidt, has three skull fractures, a broken jaw, broken cheekbone and a broken nose.
Her right arm was pulled from its socket in the crash, Mayor Schmidt said in a telephone interview Tuesday.
"Today, she is going in for an operation to repair her jaw, and they said they may have to wire her jaw shut for six weeks," Schmidt said. "She is a lucky, lucky girl to be alive, and she is a real trooper, a fighter."
The girl was on a date with a Morgan County boy at the time of the crash, which occurred in Morgan’s rugged Lost Creek area near the Summit County line, Schmidt said, adding that neither teen was wearing a helmet.
"The kids need to understand that while the helmet may mess up their hair and they may not look cool in the helmet, there is more to it than just looking cool," Schmidt said. "Because it was a date, I’m sure my daughter didn’t want to wear a helmet because she didn’t want her hair to be messy."
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Still, Schmidt admits he hasn’t set the best example.
"My wife and I have always stressed that the kids wear helmets," he said. "I will continue to ride ATVs, but I will change some of my habits because I rarely throw a helmet on when I go ATV riding."
The teens were riding the ATV together but it’s unclear who was operating the machine at the time of the evening crash.
"Brianna’s hand got stuck in a rack on the ATV," Schmidt said. "We’re trying to piece together exactly what happened, but we believe when the ATV flipped over, it flipped over sideways and that she rolled with the ATV."
Doctors had his daughter in a medically induced coma until Sunday, Schmidt explained.
"[Monday] was the first day that she had some cognizant-type communications with us. She started pointing at her right arm, which was severely damaged," Schmidt said. "She started crying, which was the first that we had seen her cry. It was somewhat of a relief because you knew she understood what you were saying to her."
Schmidt said he holds no ill will toward the boy involved in the crash.
"I’ve talked to the boy and his parents and I’ve told them to keep their head up. Accidents do happen," Schmidt said. "I would surmise that [Brianna] will never go on an ATV ride without a helmet again."
Track Brianna’s progress and send her a note by visiting caringbridge.org/visit/briannaschmidt, Schmidt said.