Well-known Swamp Buggy racer loses arm in air boat accident

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NAPLES, Fla.- Community members are coming together to help a professional Swamp Buggy racer who lost a portion of his left arm in an air boat accident over the weekend.

Family members say Tyler Johns, his wife, and daughter were on an air boat Saturday evening when it got stuck. As Johns attempted to help free the boat, his left arm got stuck in the propeller and was severed above the elbow.

A trauma nurse who happened to be on another boat nearby came to Johns’ aid as they waited for paramedics to arrive.

Johns is now recovering at a hospital in Miami.

“As a parent you just want to be there to protect your child,” said Randy Johns, Tyler Johns’ father. “I want to be strong for him, I want to do whatever I can do to help him get through this.”

Randy Johns adds his son had a second surgery on Wednesday to make sure there isn’t an infection.

“I’m heartbroken, for everything he’s got to go through,” Randy Johns said. “He’s making all his friends leave here with a positive attitude, even though he’s in so much pain and I know he has doubts and stuff in his heart.”

Tyler Johns’ cousin and fellow racer Bobby Williams says he has no doubt his cousin will try to get back in the buggy soon, “if it can be done, I guarantee you Tyler will do it.”

“It’s going to take time to heal and I’m just thankful that I still have him,” Randy Johns said. “God put people in the right place at the right time to save his life”

A BBQ fundraiser is taking place on May 22 to help the Johns family with medical expenses. It’s taking place at the Florida Sports Park off Collier Boulevard from 11 a.m.- 4 p.m.

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