Hometown: Calgary, AB
On August 19, 2010, Blake Willford set out on his Harley Davidson motorcycle to meet his wife, Amber, at their holiday trailer near Radium, BC.
He travelled the scenic route and, as it neared 9:30 pm, the setting sun and haze from the past weeks’ forest fires in the area made it more difficult to see. But, it was only another 20 minutes to the campsite so Blake continued on.
Just a few kilometres from Radium, he rounded a curve and collided with a full-grown moose standing in the middle of the road. Blake broadsided the animal face first, bringing him to an abrupt and complete stop, while his motorcycle was sent sliding down the highway.
The car travelling behind him came across the scene. One of the passengers was a nurse and she attended to Blake while her husband controlled traffic.
A car coming from the opposite direction called 911. Invermere EMS personnel were soon on scene and called for STARS due to the critical nature of Blake’s injuries. The ambulance carried Blake to a designated landing site where STARS picked him up.
Upon arrival at Foothills Medical Centre, Blake’s injuries were assessed and included a concussion with several areas of bleeding within the brain, a dislocated and broken jaw, and a fractured collarbone and rib.
Amber arrived by car several hours later and waited anxiously as physicians completed CT scans to monitor Blake’s brain injuries and performed surgery to repair his broken jaw.
Blake remained in hospital for four days and was treated for minor neurological issues over the following few months. An MRI in September 2011 showed no further health concerns.