A man was seriously injured and put on a ventilator last weekend after he was hit in the face by a 15-pound rock at Rednecks with Paychecks, the semi-annual off-roading bash in Montague County known for its large crowds and parties.
Tyler Terry, 32, was watching a race when an all-terrain vehicle kicked up the rock, a sheriff’s deputy told the Wichita Falls Times Record News.
Terry, a rancher who lives near Saint Jo, was flown to a hospital in Denton, where he was treated for broken bones in his face and nose, according to a GoFundMe page. The page had raised more than $34,000 for medical costs by Friday afternoon.
Terry’s injury was a “freak accident,” Montague County deputy Chris Hughes told the Times Record News.
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It wasn’t the first time an accident at Rednecks with Paychecks left a participant injured or worse.
At one of last year’s events, Jeff Sawyer, 34-year-old man from Corinth, died after flipping his four-wheeler, according to WFAA, which ran an investigative story on the event last year.
WFAA reported on two other recent deaths at the event: Stephanie Baldridge, 30, of Crowley died in an ATV accident last March and Nicholas Torres, 10, died in an ATV accident in March 2015.
Rednecks with Paychecks, which didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment Friday, is held on private property. Its spring break rally was March 9-12.
Guests are required to sign a waiver before entering, acknowledging that “the activities of the event are very dangerous” and assuming all risk, including the possibility of death.
WFAA’s investigation last year — titled “Blood and Mud” — scrutinized the free-for-all nature of the event and whether it was properly policed.
“We saw adults everywhere guzzling beer and driving their ATVs fast, as well as children — riding with parents or driving on their own — crossing paths,” reporter Brett Shipp wrote. “Uniformed security officers and paramedics watched and hoped that nothing went wrong.”
Montague County sheriff Paul Cunningham, whose off-duty deputies work the event, acknowledged in the story that “probably 90 percent” of people driving vehicles at Rednecks with Paychecks are driving drunk. But Cunningham said “there’s nothing I can do about it.”
“The law tells me I can’t,” he said. “It’s not a violation to drive intoxicated on your own property or private property.”