Southeast Missouri man hurt when tire explodes

Monday, June 22, 2009 ~ Updated 9:47 AM

FAIRDEALING, Mo. -- A freak accident has left a 52 -year-old Fairdealing man facing a lengthy hospital stay and numerous surgeries.

Gary Emmons, who was seriously injured when the truck tire he was changing exploded, "is doing good. He recognizes everyone and remembers what happened," said his daughter Carrie DeAlba, who visited him Friday in the Elvis Presley Memorial Trauma Center in Memphis, Tenn.

He already has undergone operations on his arm and legs.

He faces a week in the intensive care unit before being moved to a room, she said. He will have to have surgery on his ribs. He has seven broken ribs that are "overlapping," she explained and added both of his legs as well as his left arm are broken.

DeAlba said he was fixing the front tire on his log truck when the "split rim gave way."

He was in the process of putting the wheel back on the truck, she said. He was putting the lug nuts on. At this point in the process, the "wheel should have been safe."

When the split ring gave way, the resulting explosion, blew him backwards and he landed on a forklift.

Fixing a truck tire is something he has done "for over half his life. He's done it very, very frequently."

The accident occurred about noon Thursday at Emmons Sawmill near Fairdealing. Initially, an ambulance was called to the sawmill.

However when the emergency crew saw the extent of Emmons' injuries, they called a helicopter team, who took him up directly to the Memphis hospital by air ambulance.

Pertinent address:

Fairdealing, Mo.

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