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Yamaha Rhino Leaves Man with Atrophied Leg Muscles

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Apple Valley, CAA five-minute ride on a Yamaha Rhino ended when it flipped over, crushing the leg of its passenger. Kevin, an athletic, fit construction manager, took a quick ride on a Yamaha Rhino on New Year's Eve, 2006. He had never been on a Rhino before, although he owned a quad himself.

He thought it was cool that his friend had a Yamaha Rhino and was excited about his first ride. His friend told him to hop in and they simply drove into their campsite, behind their trailer. The driver had accelerated slightly from a stopped position and as soon as he began to turn, the Rhino flipped over, pinning Kevin's right leg underneath it.

"We were going maybe two-to-four miles per hour," said Kevin, saying the slow speed was because there were kids playing inside the campground. "It didn't roll over completely but it tipped, rolled and caught my ankle. I had nothing to grab onto. I pretty much fell out."

That five minute ride turned into a very long nightmare. Kevin's fibula was crushed and dislocated. It took a ten-inch metal plate and eight screws to make it functional again.

"The driver slid into me and I was gone," said Kevin. "The Rhino was on top of me. I said, 'oh man, get this off of me.'"

Two of his friends helped pull it off. One was a fireman; the other a paramedic. They removed Kevin's shoe, checked his pulse, and hustled him into the family van and off to the ER.

"It dislocated my ankle," said Kevin. "Because of that, it ripped two tendons off the inside of my foot and they had to re-attach it to the bone. My fibula shattered into 14 pieces. I have a permanent rod in my ankle. They pieced the bone together with glue and the rod runs alongside it. Eight screws attach to the rod, which goes up my leg to mid-calf. I have a 12-inch scar."

While he was only off work for two weeks, he spent the next month being driven the 50 mile commute to and from work—by his wife. His employer was able to give him desk duty for a while. He wore a walking boot for 12 weeks and was on crutches, then switched to a cane.

"It took three months before I could put any weight on it," he said. "Four months to walk. I still can't move my toes. They can't flex past a 90 degree angle."

He said he also can't bend his right foot, still walks with a limp and his foot is swollen.

"I wear extra wide EEEE size 12 shoes now," he said. "Before I wore 12 regular."

He has one pair of white and one pair of black tennis shoes to accommodate his swollen foot and said even when he wears a suit, he has to wear tennis shoes.

If he takes the kids to Disneyland or Sea World, he is popping pain pills all night.

"Honestly," he said, "if a psychologist were to do a write-up on me, I feel like less of a man. I was an athlete, Little League coach, played racquetball, baseball, rock climbed. I can't do any of that now. I can't water ski—I have a boat. Whatever I do, it's very limited. I have to wear shoes in the house. I can't even wear flip-flops, it hurts."

"Am I going to live? Yes, but it's been a tough year," he said.


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