Chris Juhl was airlifted from the dirt track; Suffered 30% burns to his arms, legs and neck
The month of July is a better known as a marathon of dirt track events for avid racing fans, drivers and crews. Thus is the case for Jeff Tuttle who brought his hobby stock to Rattlesnake Raceway in Fallon NV for their 4th of July special.
However, race cars across the country tend to run hot in the month of July. A quick way to cool the car down it to pour water on the radiator. This is standard procedure.
You can see the video of the pit area fire below.
Chris Juhl, crewman and step father for the hobby stock driver engaged in that very plan to cool down the engine. He grabbed a blue water jug and began to pour it on the hot race car.
Only, the blue water jug wasn’t water at all. That jug was filled with fuel for the pit stall next door. As the fuel was dumped on the engine compartment, the pit area was ignited.
“That was my buddy’s gas can he has been using all day and it happen to have the flexible neck on like our water jugs. It was the first thing he saw,” Jeff Tuttle told RacingNews.co .
Chris Juhl suffered burns to 30% of his legs, arms and neck. His wife, Lorie Juhl was also burned on her legs.
“He’s my step dad but ya we are super close. Might as well be blood,” Tuttle said of his stepfather.
The driver was pulled from the race car escaping serious injuries. As drivers pull into the pit area, they tend to unzip, remove the helmet and gloves especially on hot summer nights at the race track. Tuttle didn’t, he still had all his safety equipment on.
“I had a cam lock style belts which made it easy to get out quickly. I didn’t get burned. Luckily, I was half out of the car when the fuel filter bursted and flared back up again” Tuttle explained.
A helicopter was brought into the Arizona dirt track. The Juhl family was airlifted to U.C. Davis Hospital for treatment. He sat in the ER while waiting for a room to open up in the burn unit. He’s since been moved to the burn unit. The hospital staff has cleaned all of the burns to prevent infection.
Chris Juhl is badly burned but he is expected to be released from the burn unit by the weekend.
“Just in case some of my non racing friends didn’t find out this 4th of July wasn’t the greatest… Car bursted into flames catching Chris Juhl on fire, and burning Lorie Juhl on her legs,” Jeff Tuttle stated via Facebook.
“I was able to get half way out the car when my buddy Dan pulled me out the race of the way. Here’s some of the most obvious damage. Carb needs a good cleaning but thanks to the efforts of some neighboring race teams the fire got put out pretty quickly.”
“Well last night as I was going to bed getting ready to leave for Santa Cruz, I got a phone call from my mom telling me both she and my dad had been badly burned. This was the worst phone call a daughter could receive,” Jessica Davis, daughter of the family stated via facebook.
“My mother has burns all down her legs and we are doing everything we can to help care for her. My dad however was flown to U.C. Davis for treatment where he still is now. We do not have very many updates at the moment other than he is stable.”
“My mother has asked me to share this dash cam video from Jeffs car. Were are happy to say that Jeff got out of the car and is ok.”
“He is extremely mad at himself but wants to thank everyone for all of there thoughts. Yes he is in pain but hopefully will get some piece soon. Mom is also resting at the hotel. She will be seeing a burn specialist.”
“We will update on here per my moms digression, thank you for everyone around here that cares about my parents,” Jessica Davis concluded.
“As I sit here with my dad he tells me to say thank you to everyone for there thoughts and prayers. We are truly blessed to have such a great group of friends and family,” Briana Juhl said of her father in a Facebook statement.
A GoFundMe page has been created to help cover the cost of medical bills. You can view and/or support that campaign here.