By Sarah Pridgeon
Craig Hemmah, owner of C&A Meats in Sundance, is recovering in hospital after a road accident that left him trapped overnight underneath his motorcycle.
Hemmah was traveling home from Upton on the evening of Friday, July 19. His motorcycle left the road at Mile Post 9 of Hwy 116 and landed in the borrow ditch with its rider pinned beneath it.
The crash occurred somewhere between 8:30 and 9 p.m. but was not discovered until the next morning, when commuter Tim Schmitz passed by at 6:30 a.m., on his way to work, and called in the incident. Along with Sundance’s EMS crew, members of the Sundance Fire Department and Hemmah’s family, State Trooper Colton Lenz rushed to the scene.
“If I had to use one word to describe Craig, it would be ‘tough’,” says Lenz.
“He was conscious, but in a lot of pain and there was a great deal of pressure from the bike.”
Hemmah appeared to have several fractures, says Lenz, but no lacerations. The EMS crew transported him back to Sundance, where he was transferred via Life Flight to Rapid City.
Hemmah’s family searched for him during the night, Lenz says. They became concerned when he didn’t arrive home promptly because he prefers not to drive in the dark and the weather that night was stormy.
The cause of the crash is unknown, he adds. Hemmah is unable to remember any details of the event until his arrival at hospital.
Lab tests have categorically ruled out alcohol as a potential cause, according to wife Sandy Hemmah. As he is an experienced rider, Lenz speculates that the inclement weather and high winds may have been responsible.
Hemmah is recovering well, says his wife, and is expected to return home from hospital at the end of the week.