29 November 2014

Iditarod Musher & Team Struck by SUV

ANCHORAGE - A gloomy Thanksgiving Day couldn’t dampen the spirits of Karin Hendrickson.

"That's what gives my life focus, that's what I care about.  If I'm not running dogs, I don't know what the heck I would be doing."

(Photo from www.adn.com)
Hendrickson spoke to the media from her bed at Providence Hospital Thursday for the first time since surviving an accident on the Parks Highway Tuesday night.

She vividly remembers what happened to her 14 dogs as she was practicing on a dirt trail paralleling the highway.  A driver lost control of her SUV near mile marker 91 and left the road.

"I was watching it, and thought, we're going to be OK; it came over the edge, missed all the dogs and plowed into the four wheeler, head on."

Hendrickson says she was knocked 20 feet into the air.

"I was kind of waiving my hands and feet and trying to stay oriented, and landed on my feet, down in the ditch, and then flew backwards onto my back."

Despite being injured, Hendrickson called a friend and asked for help with finding her dog team.  The animals has been separated during the accident, all the dogs have been accounted for.

"They were looked over by a vet right after the accident and they're all fine.  There are a couple scrapes and bruises, one dog had a cut on his foot, but really, really minor."

Hendrickson wasn’t so lucky.  The six time Iditarod participant suffered a broken back.  She moved to Alaska in 2003 just to become a musher and is determined to be healed before Iditarod 2016.

"My recovery is going to take a little longer.  But they say it's going to be a full recovery and I should be able to get back to mushing in a year or so."

I said it before: Alaskans are tougher than average. You can see the whole story and interview here.

12 comments:

Cathy said...

Oh . . .. Wow. . .
Talk about grit !
Wow.

Rev. Paul said...

Yep. Your "average" person doesn't run the Iditarod to begin with. :)

JMD said...

Don't mean to be disparaging but actually should this be what we pursue? Questionable at best.

Rev. Paul said...

JMD, if I understand you correctly, you're questioning the sled dog racing. It's the official state sport of Alaska, and is one of most heavily-regulated/officiated/veterinarian-monitored activities up here. The dogs absolutely love the chase, and they are NOT mistreated. In fact, anyone even suspected of mistreating their dogs in any way is barred from participation until proven innocent & the dogs check out healthy, well-fed, and well cared-for.

Keads said...

I wish her a speedy recovery and quick reunion with her four legged friends.

Sandy said...

Rev. Paul,

She's one lucky and strong woman.
Hopefully she will have a speedy recovery. There's always the race next year!

Rev. Paul said...

Keads & Sandy, thank you.

Old NFO said...

Thoughts and prayers for her...

threecollie said...

What a shame. Hope she makes that recovery and is back in the race. The definition of tough right there.

Rev. Paul said...

NFO & threecollie, I thank you on her behalf.

doubleportionranch said...

Holy OUCH Batman! I bet the fact that her dogs weren't hurt will help her get through this MUCH better. If you get a chance to pass on 'get well soon' wishes, add south Texas in there!

Rev. Paul said...

Will do, DPR. Thanks!