An investigation is still ongoing into a crash that seriously injured a 16-year-old on Sunday at the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area, local officials said today.
Supervising state parks peace officer Michael Lack said the accident happened about 3 p.m. in an open riding area. The teen was wearing a helmet when he somehow lost control of his ATV while riding down a dune and was ejected, Lack said.
Lack did not identify the teen because he is a juvenile.
However, the football coach at Independence High School in Bakersfield confirmed to the Bakersfield Californian and other local media that Tyler Schilhabel, the team’s quarterback, was injured in the crash Sunday.
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Rangers who arrived on the scene reported Schilhabel had serious head and neck injuries; he was taken to Arroyo Grande Community Hospital by ambulance about 3:30 p.m., Lack said.
Lack said alcohol was not a factor in the crash, nor did there appear to be a mechanical failure.
Coach Sean McKeown told the Bakersfield Californian that Schilhabel was transferred to Stanford Medical Center and is paralyzed from the chest down. Schilhabel, a junior, was in surgery early Monday to repair spinal-cord injuries, the paper reported.
In an e-mail sent to The Tribune on Tuesday, McKeown wrote, “I just spoke with Tyler and he was in good spirits and he thanks everyone for their thoughts and prayers. I’ve been told that he will be transferred to a rehab center this week to start the rehabilitation process.”