Wyoming Rancher Gets Pinned by ATV, Survives on Beer for Two Days

by Jon D. B.

“It was scary as hell is what it was,” says Wyoming‘s Frank Reynolds from his hospital room Wednesday, where he is still recovering.

53-year-old rancher Frank Reynolds set out to wrangle a cow and her calf on a neighboring Gillette pasture Sunday. It was then that his ATV would tip over onto him, pinning him to the ground.

“Everything on the left side pretty much hurt, from the top of my head to my toes,” he tells the Gillette News Record. Later, he would find out his ribs had been crushed and his shoulder dislocated. But not before spending two days stranded in the field.

Luckily, Reynolds had his ATV equipped with a cooler. He would survive those two grueling days on the bottles of water and Keystone Light beers left over, according to Sheriff Scott Matheny. The Wyoming rancher would honk the horn on his ATV so much that the battery wore out all the while – but to no avail.

The Reynolds family thought Frank was camping or out with friends, adds Campbell County undersheriff Quentin Reynolds, who also happens to be Frank’s brother. Later on Monday, his kin’s concern would grow. Talking with neighbors, they would learn Frank had planned to do work on property outside their own.

Eventually, Frank’s neighbor, Don Hamm, would come looking for him on horseback. By 8 a.m. Tuesday, Hamm found Reynolds far out in the Wyoming pasture – his ATV still crushing him.

By this time, Frank says he was “pretty much out of it” – but knew a rescue when he saw it. The Associated Press notes a full recovery is likely.

Wyoming ATV Safety Guidelines

“ATV riding can be a risky sport. One-third (1/3) of all ATV accidents involve those under 16 years of age. Unfortunately some are severely serious and even fatal,” states Wyoming’s official state parks site.

To avoid any accidents while riding an ATV, Wyoming holds the following guidelines:

  • Wear a helmet and eye protection at all times and other protective clothing suitable to the environment.
  • Do not carry passengers on your ATV.
  • Do not let young or inexperienced riders operate ATVs without training and supervision.
  • Do not use alcohol or other drugs when you ride.
  • Learn proper riding skills from an instructor or qualified rider and practice such skills before riding.
  • Always maintain a safe distance between riders. Tailgating can lead to collisions and injuries.
  • Ride with others and let someone know where you are riding. Never ride alone.
  • Obey the laws.
  • Stay on trails designated for ATVs.
  • Be informed of local weather conditions and dress and equip yourself appropriately.
  • Know the area you are riding in. Be aware of its potential hazards.
  • Always ride at a safe and responsible speed. Know your abilities and don’t exceed those levels.
  • Make sure your equipment is in top working order; check before heading out.
  • Carry a map of the trail or area you intend to travel.
  • Use common sense.