Runaway boat pins Velvick's hopes

DEL RIO, Texas — Just looking at Byron Velvick sitting in his boat, waiting for takeoff at Diablo East Marina in the Battle on the Border Thursday morning, you wouldn't have thought anything was wrong.

But after what happened to him at his Del Rio, Texas home on Wednesday, Velvick is just glad to be on the water.

"Walking hurts," Velvick said. "Sitting and fishing is okay, but walking hurts."

Aaron Martens was helping Velvick hook up his boat trailer to his truck at Velvicks house on Wednesday morning as they were getting ready for their last day of practice.

Martens went inside and Velvick, thinking that the boat was hooked up, started to pull the truck out of his driveway, but the boat didn't come with him.

By the time Velvick realized the trailer had come unhooked, the boat had gained momentum down Velvick's steep driveway and was rolling toward Velvick and the truck he was in.

"I move forward and I see the boat coming at me, but it's too far away [to still be hooked to the truck]," Velvick said. "So I get out of the truck and try to slow it down. I grab it, but it keeps going and pushes me toward the truck, which is still running, and it pins me into the truck."

The boat hit the truck first and then took a turn toward the motor home of fellow Elite pro Chris Lane, where Lane's wife and family were still sleeping. Velvick was able to stop the boat's momentum by using his body as a wedge between the boat and the truck, but he paid the price.

"I start screaming for my friends to help me, but for five minutes they were inside and they couldn't hear me," he said. "I'm hurting real bad and the trucks running and the tail pipe is burning my leg, but I'm just pinned. I checked to see if I can do anything, but I can't even wiggle or move from the waist down."

Martens eventually made it out of the house and saw the situation, but he wasn't able to push the boat off of Velvick.

"He had to run back in and grab [help]," Velvick said. "They had to chock two tires on the trailer and pull the truck forward to get me out of there."

Velvick said he was in a lot of pain, but he had to get on the water and see if he would be able to fish.

"I had to," he said. "I was hurting, but I wanted to get out and fish and see if I could get through it."

After testing his legs on the water, Velvick went to the hospital to get everything officially checked out. The doctors said he had a severe contusion on his left thigh and right calve, but there were no broken bones. He was prescribed pain killers and an anti-inflammatory.

As a result of the incident, Velvick said he is going to fish from his seat all day which will affect what he was hoping to do.

"It's going to slow me down," he said. "I'm not going to be running and gunning like I was. I was going to cover a lot of water, but I can't now. I am going to pull up to a spot and spend a little more time there. Hopefully it will work out." 

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