ST. GEORGE – A Washington family traveling home after a national motocross competition crashed on a Kansas highway early Sunday morning, seriously injuring three members of the Palmer family.
The family was returning from Loretta Lynn’s Amateur National Motocross Championship in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee; Kaden, 16, and Kyson, 15, had competed in the motocross event, said Mandy Arellano, Misty Palmer’s sister.
The family, along with a friend, were driving a 2005 Volvo semitractor pulling a race trailer and were on Interstate 70 just outside of Topeka, Kansas, when they encountered a severe rainstorm, Arellano said.
The truck and trailer hydroplaned and rolled, ejecting all members of the Palmer family.
“They were in the sleeper bed (of the semi), actually sleeping when the accident occurred,” Arellano said.
Misty Palmer suffered only cuts, but her husband Juston broke his back in the crash and both boys were seriously injured. The boys and their father were asleep in a sleeping compartment in the trailer when the crash happened, Arellano said.
A family friend traveling with the Palmers remained inside the vehicle and was uninjured.
Kaden, 16, suffered a fractured skull and lung contusions, but is now responding and talking and wiggling his toes as of Monday, after having a breathing tube removed, Arellano said.
“He’s got the fighter spirit,” she said.
Kyson, 15, suffered a damaged spleen and fractured jaw in the wreck. His spleen is healing and won’t require surgery, however, jaw surgery is scheduled for Monday evening, Arellano said. Juston Palmer is scheduled for surgery Tuesday morning for a broken back.
“We are very, very lucky. You know, after seeing the pictures of the vehicle and the fact that all four of them were ejected,” Arellano said.
“It’s a miracle because you look at everything that happened and the fact they are doing as well as they (are) for what they’ve been through, we couldn’t be more excited.”
“On top of that, it’s been really eye-opening to (find out) how amazing our friends and families are. We’ve had so many calls and texts, people that we’ve never met … reaching out to Misty,” she said. “It’s been an outpouring that I could never even imagine. We feel really, really lucky,” Arellano said.
A Gofundme.com account has been set up to help the family by the Palmers’ friends and neighbors, Cole and Elizabeth Townsend, who traveled with the family to the Tennessee competition. The Townsends took a different route home, Cole Townsend said.
“Our main goal is just to help them with their tremendous expenses,” Cole Townsend said. “They’re self-employed, the parents just work extremely hard, and they’re not, obviously, none of them are in shape to work.”
“They are always helping other families, just really great people and good kids.”
Kayden and Kyson attend Desert Hills High School, Arellano said. In the motocross national championship, Kaden competed in two divisions and took 21st and 25th, while Kyson took 2nd, she said.
To help the Palmers, visit the Gofundme.com page that has been set up on their behalf.
Ed. note: Clarified vehicle and location of sleeping family members.
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