Sappington Recovering After Boating
John Sappington of
Willard, Mo., is recovering at Lafayette General Medical Center
after suffering neck and back injuries late Tuesday afternoon when
the boat he was piloting struck a cable used to pull the Cote
Blanche Ferry in St. Mary Parish, La. Sappington, a member of Team
Snickers and winner of the 2002 Wal-Mart FLW Tour Championship, was
slated to compete in next week’s tour stop on the Atchafalaya Basin
in Morgan City, La.
from Four Corners, La., responded to the accident at 4:25 p.m.
according to Major Steve Clark, water patrol supervisor for the St.
Mary Parish Sheriff’s Department, and approximately 20 minutes later
Sappington was flown by helicopter to Lafayette General Medical
Sheryl Wood, Sappington’s sister who is by his side at the hospital,
John suffered multiple neck and back injuries and was rendered
unconscious when his boat struck and then slid under the Ferry’s
cable. The cable hit Sappington in the head and knocked off the
helmet that he was wearing, Wood said. He was also wearing a life
jacket at the time but was not thrown from the boat.
Matassa with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement
Division confirmed that Sappington did strike the Cote Blanche Ferry
cable just after 4 p.m. Tuesday.
“The Ferry is
cable-driven, and when in operation, the cable rises out of the
water,” Matassa said. “Mr. Sappington ran under the cable and
suffered serious injury. There is no doubt that the helmet he was
wearing saved his life.”
According to Wood,
Sappington is talking and moving his arms and legs. Wood also says
that doctors have told Sappington that he will have to wear a halo
to support his neck for approximately three months, but he will
likely make a full recovery. In fact, he may be up and walking by
the end of the day and is scheduled to be released from the hospital
Tour Tournament Director Bill Taylor was in Morgan City at the time
of the accident and spent the night by Sappington’s side until his
sister arrived Wednesday morning.