‘What saved his life … he was wearing a helmet’

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Tyler Armstrong and his mother, Vickie

GoFundMe set up for Alvinston area ATV accident victim recovering from serious injuries

An Alvinston area mother says her son survived a horrible ATV crash on Shiloh Line because he was wearing a helmet.

Vickie Armstrong says her son, Tyler, was severely injured in a “devastating ATV accident” early April 16 as he was heading down Shiloh Line near the AW Campbell Conservation Area. It’s a road neighbours had called for improvements since 2020 saying the sharp curve at the bottom of the hill can’t be seen by drivers.

His ATV crashed into the field after missing the turn early Sunday morning.
Armstrong says after the crash, Tyler could only move his left arm. He used it to call his brother, Jordan, over and over again until he picked up in the early morning hours.

Tyler was “pretty confused and thought he was on our trails still in the bush” says Armstrong. Jordan urged him on and eventually Tyler was able to hit the location tool on his phone. Jordan and Brooke Fire Rescue raced to the scene to find Tyler.

“He sustained broken orbital bones, nose, jaw, clavicle, ribs, femur, neck (C1-4 and C7) and also his thoracic area of the spine. He also has a bruised lung, kidney, and currently his right arm is not moving.

“He is slightly able to move his left arm and both legs thankfully,” Armstrong, who is married to former Brooke-Alvinston Councillor Jamie Armstrong, wrote on a GoFundMe page.

“What saved his life initially was the fact that he was wearing a helmet.”
Armstrong told The Independent in the past, she would watch her sons head out on the trail without helmets.

But this time, Tyler was wearing one. She believes that will make a world of difference in his recovery.

Armstrong is thankful for Tyler’s brother and the local volunteer firefighters for their quick response and using “their extensive knowledge” to help her son. She adds the medical professions at Four Counties Hospital in Newbury and others at the London Health Sciences Centre are amazing.

“Without all of you, we wouldn’t be where we are today.”

Armstrong told The Independent that call was difficult for Jordan – who is a firefighter – and his crew that arrived on the scene.

“I would say probably 90 per cent of those calls they go on, they find somebody they know…It’s tough on them.”

Once at hospital in London, Armstrong had two surgeries almost immediately including one to put a titanium rod in his leg, the other to fuse his spine in some places.

Monday, doctors repaired some of the facial fractured. His mom says his jaw is now wired shut and he’s in a medically induced coma.

But Armstrong says they have been able to communicate with Tyler. He recognized both his mother and his brother and photos of his nephews. “It was the best feeling to see him look at those kids and smile,” she says choking back tears after nine days of being by her son’s bedside.

Right now, the family is waiting to see how long Tyler’s recovery will take and if he’ll ever be able to return to his job as a heavy equipment operator.

“I don’t know if that’s ever gonna come back. I don’t know. There’s so many unknowns.

“He has no movement in his right arm at all, like absolutely nothing. So we’re still waiting on a lot of information on that right now. That is a wait and see,” says Armstrong.

“ I just want to give him support to get him better and try hopefully to work him towards some kind of rehab that, you know, hopefully, he can get pretty much the best recovery possible and hopefully go back to a career he loves.”

Armstrong has started a GoFundMe page to help with ongoing medical expenses and possibly renovations to his home in the future.

“Tyler has a very long road ahead of him and will have many additional expenses to help him reach his full potential.”

While Armstrong hasn’t put a lot of thought into the bend in Shiloh Line where the accident occurred, she knows it well from years of camping at AW Campbell Conservation Area with the family.

“I always went slow when I went around it,” she says.

“Jamie and I talked about it. It’s a 90 degree curve. They probably should have stop signs going both ways. You’d have to slow down and stop to get around it…I don’t know if people have come up with that. That’s the only thought we had – why not make them stop?

“Some people might roll through it, but they’d be rolling a lot slower, I think.”

You can find the GoFundMe campaign here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/tyler-armstrong-atv-accident

1 COMMENT

  1. I live across the street from where this happened, we have been trying to raise awareness for years but got voted down by council. This street is used by families for biking, families walking pushing strollers, runners, & so on. We suggested a reduction in speed & a community safety zone implemented but we were ignored. What a terrible shame.

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