A Sylva man on a skateboard plowed into the rear of a car last Wednesday, sustaining such severe injuries he was transported to Mission Hospital in Asheville.
Ryan Neff, 27, of Gardenia Lane, was skateboarding down Allen Street when he struck the back of a car driven by Margaret Deloach, 42, of Whittier.
Neff couldn’t stop in time, coming down the steep decline of Allen Street near the intersection of Queen Street, and hit Deloach’s car, said Lt. Aimee Watson of the Sylva Police Department. Neff suffered a leg injury and was transported by Harris EMS to Harris Hospital and flown by the Mountain Area Medical Airlift (MAMA) helicopter to Mission Hospital in Asheville.
Neff was skateboarding to his job as a sous chef at Mad Batter Food and Film on Main Street when the accident occurred.
SPD Officer Mark Conner worked the collision. Lt. Bruce Moore, Harris EMS and Sylva Fire Department also responded, Watson said.
Charges are pending against Neff.
“We have ordinances in place as far as riding skateboards on roads, highways, things of that nature,” Watson said.
Ryan Neff’s wife, Paige, said he has a long way to go and it’s too soon to talk about when he might leave the hospital.
“He got out of his third surgery about an hour ago, and we’re looking at probably two more,” Paige Neff said.
Her husband’s tibia was broken into three pieces and his fibula was broken into two pieces, she said. The tibia is the shin bone, the larger of the two leg bones located below the knee cap. The fibula is the smaller of the two.
Ryan Neff underwent emergency surgery last Thursday to relieve the swelling, she said.
“They were supposed to go in today and rebuild the leg and put in the plate but there was still too much swelling,” Paige Neff said Monday afternoon.
She is expecting a baby sometime this week, and Mission staff arranged for the birth to be at the hospital.
“They’re actually being kind enough that they are going to transport Ryan from his room to my room when I deliver the baby so he gets to be there,” she said.
Ryan Neff travels the 3 miles to work on his skateboard every day.
His wife said he lost a lot of blood in the aftermath of the accident.
“It was touch and go on that helicopter ride,” Paige Neff said. “We got really lucky.”