Last week we told you about Levi’s Switzer’s injuries. We asked him for a few more details and this is what he said:
What happened with the bail on the bump to rail?
I tried to 5050 it, I guess I was going to slow, and didn’t ollie high enough, clipped my feet up burley, flipped over and landed on my back, good.
Had you tried it before?
I had thought of it for a while, this was my second try, first try I got pretty close, locked in and slipped out, was so hyped, guess I didn’t pay enough attention the second time. Fell to flat.
Is the spot in Calgary?
Ya, actually its in downtown… I saw a Sean MacAlister photo of it in Color a year ago or so, I was so stoked when I found it!
How many tries did you have before you got hurt?
This was my second time before I fell… but if you meant getting kicked out? We didn’t. It’s a fun little spot.
What was the actual injury?
Right after I fell, I couldn’t straighten my back out for a couple minutes… I was scared, I mean. You break an arm, a leg, it sucks, but it’s alright. But with head, back and neck injuries, that kinda stuff can mess you up good for life. So I headed to the hospital straight away, I even left the crew of homies at the spot (and I drove haha) At the hospital, the doctor thought I broke some little triangle pieces on my spine. I was trippin’, but then I got an x-ray and it turned out alright, just a mean bruise on my spine and back.
How much time did you spend in hospital?
I got out the same night, just with some antibiotics, cause the swelling was super gnarly. A week later, the swelling didn’t go down, so I got it drained, some big, fat needle drained 30 ml out of my back. It was heinous.
Are you all healed up from that?
I am for sure. I just need to maybe stretch a little extra when I get to the spot.
Tell us about the car accident. Where was it?
15th ave and 5th st SW, kinda by the 7-11 on 17th ave. I was in the crosswalk, crossing over 5th st.
Were you just skating down the street or were you trying a trick?
Ya, I just got off work and I was waiting at a crosswalk, the traffic stopped for me, I gave them a thank you wave and started into the intersection. All of a sudden I was upside down, that feeling, not knowing of whats up or down, then I was on my face on the curb, I guess I hit the windshield pretty hard too. Apparently the third lane didn’t see me.
Did the driver stop to see if you were okay?
I rolled over onto my back and the first thought in my head was, “Did she drive away? What’s the license plate number!?”… haha. She stuck around. I just layed there. People called the ambulance and helped prop up my neck and stuff. I could hear the woman who hit me, crying and standing near me. When the medics got there, They strapped me to a board and put a neck brace on and the medic was like “I’m gonna leave your board here, ok?”, she showed it to me, it was in two pieces. I had to argue with her from the stretcher to bring my board, cause my trucks and wheels were worth something. My board got wrecked good.
What were the injuries there? Hospital time?
Ya, pretty wild. I broke some bone in the top of my foot, leaving me in an aircast and crutches for a while. I can’t put weight on it or drive for weeks. I broke the frontal bone in my skull, basically my forehead. So now I have a big dent and crack in my forehead where I landed on the curb. The doctors and medics say I’m lucky to be alive. Seriously, God saved my life that day, not kidding. I didn’t die– I am blessed.
I was let out of the hospital that night with instructions for my family to watch me closely. I have been back for various doctor’s appointments with the family doctor, orthopedic surgeon, plastic surgeon, a neurology appt coming up soon and more follow up with the other ones.
Any charges against the driver?
A broken windshield I guess, not sure what else. Kind of funny how things work out.
How long is your recovery time?
Uhh… a few months for my foot, they told me like 7-9 weeks on crutches and I think for my head, it’ll be a while, just taking it easy. It could take over a year, maybe migraines for a long time… Don’t be surprised if you see helmet footy of me this year, I’d rather be able to speak than look cool for a bit.
In the hospital, I could hear the nurses say “what happened to him?”… “He was skateboarding.” Or “He was skateboarding and got hit by a car”. I’m like,”I was crossing the street!!!!! I just happened to be on my skateboard!!”
Coming away from this, after hearing what the nurses said and the vibe I got, I am definitely gonna be planning and working hard to better the image of skateboarding. I don’t do drugs, commit crimes or vandalize, and I love people. So I want to show the people that look down to us as skaters that we are more than a “You deserved it, you skateboarder” fatality. We are functioning members, giving back to society.