Jesse is an adventurer and a pilot. He’s been flying small planes for over 15 years, and has made several trips across the North America, first in a Cessna 150 and last year, we flew his Piper Cherokee across Canada from Washington to New Hampshire, then later back to Washington across the south and southwest before heading back north to Orcas.
Jesse recently purchased a new plane, a Lake Buccaneer amphibious seaplane. This was the culmination of tons of research into the perfect plane for our future adventures around the Pacific Northwest and beyond, and it was to be a plane for him to further his skills and get his instrument and potentially commercial ratings. After several weeks of instruction in Florida, he headed west, stopping to pick up two longtime friends, Stefan (on the right in the front page photo) and Corey (on the left) for the flight back to Orcas… just three best friends on another of their crazy adventures.
On Tuesday morning, August 25th in Rawlins, Wyoming, the plane crashed shortly after takeoff. We don’t know the cause of the crash and may not for some time. Rawlins emergency services were on scene almost immediately and Corey was airlifted to Casper, Wyoming, and Jesse and Stefan were transported to a local hospital by ambulance and then flown to the Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland, Colorado. We were devastated to learn that Corey passed away on Thursday, August 27th. Stefan suffered a serious back injury that required surgery, but amazingly was released from the hospital on Sunday, August 30th. He is up and moving around with a walker, but still has a very long road ahead.
Jesse also suffered a serious back injury, shattering his T12 vertebrae. He is paralyzed below the waist at this time, but doctors are doing everything possible to treat the spinal cord injury to give him the best prognosis going forward. He remains at the Hospital of the Rocky Mountains, but should be moving to a spinal cord injury rehab facility soon. He is in good spirits, very positive, and determined to recover as much as his body will allow. Anyone who knows Jesse knows that no matter what, he will find ways to enjoy his life and thrive, and he is especially determined to live fully in honor of Corey.
Thank you, thank you, thank you to our friends and family who have reached out. We are feeling your love and positive energy and it is deeply appreciated. We have a long road ahead of us, so please keep those prayers and good vibes flowing for us.
~ Lindsay (September 1, 2020)