Race Boat Driver Survives Crash

Tuesday, August 24th 1999, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Doctors at Tulsa's St John Medical Center are describing one man's story of
survival as truly remarkable. Kyle Walker crashed his racing boat two weeks ago at more than 200 miles an hour and lived to tell about it.

Walker's hydroplane boat "The Spirit of America", was one of the fastest on the water, but with speed, comes danger. Racing at Chouteau Bend, Walker's hydroplane boat suddenly flipped, crashed into the water and broke apart. The pilot's capsule saved his life, but the force of the crash left Walker with a broken leg, crushed vertebrae and a head injury. Walker's wife, Pam, has spent 16 days at St. John, helping her husband through the start of a slow recovery. "Kyle was so severely injured that when I arrived here at the hospital, they told me it could go either way," she said.

Crewmember Joe Rogers saw the crash but doesn't know what happened.
"Kyle is as good a driver as there is out there, "said Rogers. " I think he's the best, and it was a compliment to race with him. He's tough. He's a fighter. That's the only reason he's with us today is he's a fighter," Rogers noted. The cause of the crash is still under investigation.

Walker will not return to racing. His championship career ended with a crash that nearly cost him his life. Walker's family plans to take him back to Texas as soon as he can be moved. Doctors say he'll need more surgery and at least a year of rehabilitation.