Pratt woman on a riding mower barely escapes injury when out of control pickup misses her by just a couple of feet

By Gale Rose
Pratt Tribune – April 27, 2014

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A Pratt man took a scary ride in his pickup late Saturday morning, narrowly missing a woman on a riding lawnmower by just a few feet.

Roy Gamboa, 70 of Pratt, was eastbound on Walnut just west of Larimer in a 2008 Chevrolet pickup when, for medical reasons, he lost control of the vehicle and it went across Walnut to the north and onto the lawn by Walnut Grove Apartments, said Pratt Police Officer Nate Humble.

The vehicle then hit the Walnut Grove sign and knocked it down as it went across the driveway then hit a heavy piece of pipe holding up a 10 mph sign. It bent the sign over and continued east just as Walnut Grove Apartment Manager Karen Beard drove southbound from behind a tree on a riding lawn mower and directly in front of the pickup, Humble said.

Beard said she couldn’t hear the pickup because the lawnmower was so loud and she couldn’t see it because the tree blocked her view. She drove in front of the vehicle and it went behind her, missing her by just a couple of feet, Beard said.

The pickup then went back across Walnut to the south side and traveled a short distance east across the lawn at 1224 Larimer.

The pickup then sharply changed direction and went back across Walnut again, went over the curb going north on the north side of the street and sideswiped a power line pole, damaging the entire passenger side of the vehicle as it broke the pole completely off and moved it about three feet from its original position.

The pickup then made a very sharp u-turn to the right and headed south. It went across Walnut again, jumped the curb on the south side of Walnut, went back across the lawn at 1224 Larimer where it crashed though the north side of a garage wall and finally came to a stop as it broke through the garage door on the west end of the garage. A portion of the west end of the garage was resting on top of the pickup.

Chris Piland, maintenance man for Walnut Grove Apartments, was outside the apartments working on a light when he heard the pickup hit the apartment sign. Piland said the pickup engine was running at full speed and the tires were burning rubber the entire time of the accident.

Piland said he ran to the pickup after it stopped inside the garage. The entire garage was filled with smoke because both rear tires were still burning rubber at full speed. He reached inside pickup and was able to get it out of gear and get the engine shut off.

Pratt County EMS transported Gamboa to Pratt Regional Medical Center. His condition was unknown when this story was posted on the web site.

Pratt County Rescue used the wench on their truck to pull the portion of the garage door off the pickup then pulled the pickup to the north so the wrecker could get to it.

Gamboa was wearing a seatbelt at the time of accident and alcohol was not a factor, Humble said.

The accident was reported at 11:29 a.m. Saturday, April 26.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

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