Family, friends hoping for Tim Staab's recovery after crash in Las Vegas 200
By Bill Center
December 13, 2001
San Diego's Tim Staab, one of the top motorcycle riders in off-road racing, remains in a drug-induced coma in a Las Vegas trauma center 11 days after suffering a near-fatal accident.
Staab crashed in a rock-strewn sand wash while leading the Las Vegas 200 finale to the Best In The Desert Series on Dec. 1.
"The doctors say his brain activity is very good," said Larry Staab, the rider's father, Monday via telephone from Las Vegas.
"Hopefully, he'll be coming home soon although there could be months of recovery and therapy."
Staab's condition was listed as unstable although he had been upgraded from very critical to critical. He is suffering from a buildup of fluid and pressure around the brain.
"It's a difficult time," said Johnny Campbell, Staab's co-rider and friend.
"No one knows what happened and Tim might never remember. It's a puzzle. He was maybe 10 minutes in front of the next rider when he went down. But it's a mystery how he crashed".
Staab had a cut under his chin, but there were no marks on his helmet other than a small crack in his visor.
"He might have hit the handlebars and gone over the front of the bike and landed hard," said Staab's father. "But we don't know. He doesn't look hurt. When I first saw him in the hospital, I thought we'd be driving him home the next day."
Instead, Billie and Larry Staab and the rider's girlfriend, Lisa Avtenriegh, have kept a vigil with Staab in the hospital.
"We've seen encouraging signs," said Larry Staab. "And having Tyler King come up here has helped us all. Tyler had an accident similar to Tim's a couple of years ago and is competing again in freestyle motocross.
"I can't believe the backing we've had from friends and the desert racing community. When Tim wakes up from this, he's going to want to start riding again."
Staab has teamed with Campbell on a Honda factory bike to win the overall elapsed-time honors in the past four SCORE Baja 1000s (which actually includes the Baja 2000 last season). He has shared three SCORE season titles with Campbell and the tandem also has won such events as the Las Vegas-to-Reno and Las Vegas 2000 races.
"Tim is a young, hungry, aggressive rider," Campbell said of the 6-foot-3, 23-year-old who resides in Pacific Beach.
"He's very athletic and trains hard. He has a unique riding style, a really all-out approach. He's one of the fastest riders I've ever seen."
Campbell, the lead rider on Honda's desert team, hand-picked Staab as his riding partner in 1997.
"We're a good blend," said Campbell. "This is a very difficult time for us."
The motorcycle Campbell and Staab were racing Dec. 1 was a lightweight Honda CRF 450. Campbell said there didn't appear to be any problems with the bike.
"We hadn't raced the bike before, but we had tested it a lot," said Campbell. "It was a lighter, snappier bike."
John- I heard fom a vendor at work, who pits for honda, that they had taken Tim off the medication that kept him in the coma, and that the swelling had been staying down in his head. I hope this is true that he is getting better. Skyler
There also needs to be a few prayers said for Dave Ashley from the Duralast team. He is currently hospitalized with a serious illness that may require surgery in the next few days. I'ts too soon to speculate weather he will be well enough to race by Laughlin. Dan will probably be at the helm for Laughlin.
A piece of an article from the San Diego Union Tribune:
By Bill Center
Desert motorcycle racer Tim Staab is being slowly weaned from
his drug-induced coma at a Las Vegas hospital. Staab has been in
the coma since crashing Dec. 1 while leading the season-ending
Las Vegas 200 in the Best In The Desert series. "We've seen
considerable improvement in Tim the past week," said the rider's
father, Larry. "He's been grasping our hand and reacting to
outside influences. They've been steadily reducing his drugs. He
should be awake by the weekend."