On Tuesday September 20th, Dean and his brother, Dale were ATVing in the Vail area. That afternoon Dean and his ATV tumbled and separated mid curve and he landed on the trail away from the ATV. Thankfully Dale, was directly behind him at the time of the accident and was able to provide care immediately. Dean was unconscious directly following the incident. Dale began CPR, which continued for approximately 30 minutes. As soon as Dean began shallow breathing on his own, sunglasses were used too prop his mouth open. Dale then made the decision to go find cell coverage to call for help. Dale found a Good Samaritan at the trail head, 6 miles away from the incident. Kathy, the Good Samaritan travelled approximately 10 miles up the pass to be able to called 911 as Dale made his way back to Dean. Once Dale returned, Dean had regained consciousness. While Dale was gone, Dean had vomited multiple times. During this part of the incident, Dean was unable to move any extremities. While they were waiting for Search and Rescue, Dale made Dean as comfortable as possible. Search and Rescue arrived approximately 2 ½ hours later and packaged Dean, then began extracting him to the landing zone where they met the helicopter. Dean was flown by Flight for Life, directly to St Anthony's in Denver. The helicoper arrived in Denver at approximately 8:30pm.
The initial reports of injuries were reduced to an unstable C2 fracture and a large, full thickness laceration on the top and back of his head.
The decision was made to do surgery that night as there was pressure on his spinal cord from the fractured vertebrae.