Slingshot Crash, lost my best friends dad last Friday

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  • It is with a heavy heart I post today. on August 9th I got a text message from my best friend that simply said "My Daddy died today". I didn't even know what to think or even what to say. This is my best friend and his Dad was like my 2nd Dad. I've known them for 35 years.

    Last week my best friend took his Father and his Son up to the mountains for a fun weekend before his son started back to school. On Friday Bobby rented his dad a Slingshot to go out and enjoy a day on the beautiful roads of the smokey mountains. That is when tragedy struck. His dad lost control of the slingshot on Deals Gap, went off the road and crashed, he died shortly after from his injuries. We believe he just lost focus for a moment, maybe looking at the photographers, briefly left the road and lost control into the trees.

    I'm trying to help them raise some funds to help get his Father back home from Tennessee and arrange a celebration of life ceremony where he can be reunited with friends and family. They never planned for such a thing and the expenses to get everything taken care of are heavy for the family.

    I've started a gofundme to help them out. I know how awesome the Slingshot community is and anything you can donate to help them would be greatly appreciated.

    Dontations can be made here Click here to support ROBERT MINIER SR MEMORIAL organized by Bill Morgan

    Thank you for reading and please ride safe, it can all go wrong so quickly and we just never know. I've attached a photo they took just hours before the accident. It was happy day to start for sure...

  • Thanks everyone its very much appreciated. I apologize I haven't been around here as much, with life moving the way it does I totally forgot about this forum and had just been posting on the other big one. I remember meeting some of you guys and gals at the first Maggie Valley trip Ivor put together.

    A small update, they did the cremation yesterday now to get the remains back home.

    In reflection a few things we've been talking about as we work through the healing process and try to understand what happened and why and just make some sense of it so we can cope with it in our minds and so we can learn from it. Maybe sharing this story will in some way help one of you. We aren't as young as we used to be, we aren't as flexible or nimble and many of us certainly can't take the knocks we did when we were younger. Maybe we'll slow down just that little bit, or be bit more cautious and maybe take a 2nd thought before running through deals gap with our hair on fire (which many of us, me included, love to do).

    The first one we had to be honest about (was hard to do) was a mistake was made that led to the whole incident, he lost focus for a moment, ran wide and off the road, the drop off at the edge is pretty steep (as you guys know who've been on that road) and when he corrected to come back we believe lack of experience in and the unique dynamics of a 3 wheeler, a bit to much over correction and it caused it to spin out when the rear tire came up the roads edge it acted a bit like a pit maneuver, it spun and exited the other side of the road.

    The 2nd was his age played a big factor we believe when it comes to the injuries sustained. It takes a bit of time to get rescue crews to such a remote area, you guys know how far out that road is (just remember that when you go through there like Andretti). The first responders there are amazing but it's a huge area to cover and they were there as fast and as safe as they could've done it. Nothing could've been done better on their part. Thank you to those that helped and responded the work you do is amazing.

    He was talking and conscious while rescue was on the way but ultimately his heart stopped when they got him into the ambulance to transport him, either just due to the shock and stress of what happened or some other internal injury. The slingshot landed about 30-40' down the side of a hill by one of the photog stands up against a couple of trees that kept it from going all the way to the bottom, seeing as his grandson was in the slingshot with him Bobby may have been burying two people that day had the trees not stopped it. His son ultimately was checked out at the hospital and was ok just really shook up and in shock but all told uninjured physically.

    I do want to address the Slingshot, I know a lot of people when something like this happens want to lay some blame on the vehicle. Potentially impact to the tree on the drive side may have caused the main injuries. The Slingshot did hold up very well given what happened. From the images he sent me it was fully intact and held together as designed, as did the seat belts (there was some beef couple years ago about the one side being bolted to the seat). In this cases everything stayed together. We all know there is some inherent danger in a more open vehicle and more exposure but after review it did hold together very very well you just can't overcome the laws of physics and G-Forces unfortunately.

    I've been thinking of it this way, if he was in a newer car would the result be the same, I would say maybe, modern airbags and safety systems can help a lot. Now he drove a C5 corvette, had it happened in that I believe the result would have been the same.

    I guess that's my way of trying to say I still feel the Slingshot as an alternative toy is still a pretty safe one to run around in and no matter what your doing be smart about it, use your head, know your limits and don't try to see how close to them you can get and if you've done all that then you've done the best you can. There are no guarantees for tomorrow.

    Be safe out there friends...

  • I am so sorry about your loss.

    You certainly are correct when you say "There are no guarantees for tomorrow."

    Stay strong, together and love one another!

    .::. Knowledge, like air, is vital to life. Like air, no one should be denied it .::.