Seven-Time AMA Pro Hillclimb Champion Dave Watson Injured

 

     On 9/24/06, AMA and NAHA pro hillclimber Dave Watson, who was a current points leader in the AMA Pro series, had a terrible crash at an AMA Pro event at White Rose M/C in York, PA.  Dave sustained very serious injuries, and as of 10/5/06 has yet to regain consciousness.  Friends and family members report that he has shown movement throughout his body now, indicating that he is probably not paralyzed as was originally feared, and that he has on occasion moved a body part apparently on request, suggesting that he is not fully in a coma...only more time will tell what the true extent of his injuries are, and how long a recovery will take.

     Dave is a luminary in the sport of motorcycle hillclimb - a ferocious competitor when he's on a bike, and one of the most generous and friendly people you'll meet when he's not.  Dave works tirelessly to promote the sport, and is a big factor in the continued interconnection between the AMA and NAHA pro organizations.  I don't know of anyone involved in hillclimb that does not consider Dave to be a friend and think very highly of him...he is one of the best of us, both as a rider and as a person.

     Dave is one of very few AMA Pro riders to take the plunge into contesting the entirety of the NAHA Pro series, along with Jeff Thomas (who is the only rider ever to win both an AMA Pro title and a NAHA Pro title).  He has effectively become part of Team Peterson, riding with Robie and Bret Peterson and managed by Kerry Peterson, and he has represented the USA at world-championship events such as the Hillclimb des Nations.  He helps to create a wicked three-way punch with the Peterson brothers at any event, and is a key factor in the success of the USA team at world events.

     If you would like to send cards or donations to help offset medical bills, please do so to the following address:

Dave/Dan Watson
c/o Lorie DeBusk
338 Cardinal Lane
Leola, PA 17540

  

The NEHA and the Quaboag Riders are organizing a benefit ride to raise funds to help with Dave's bills - here is there information:

Click Here

Help Needed for Injured Rider

 

Benefit Ride for Dave Watson:   Ludlow, MA resident Dave Watson, 28, was critically injured at the Jefferson, PA Hillclimb, on September 24th.  Dave was airlifted from the scene and remains hospitalized in critical condition.   

 

Dave is one of the top racers in the American Motorcycle Associationís Pro-Hillclimb Division.  He currently ranks first in the standings in the 800cc category, and is a seven-time AMA Champion in two different classes.  Dave started racing as an Amateur in the New England Hillclimbers Association more than 15 years ago, and for many years he has supported the members of NEHA. 

 

Event:              SUNDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2006

 

Donation:                $20 per bike, $10 per passenger

 

Starting:                  Ride Leaves 11:00 a.m. from

Sheldonís Harley Davidson/Buell

                                 914 Southbridge Street, Auburn, MA

 

First Stop:                Quaboag Riders Motorcycle Club,

Home of the Monson Hillclimb

King Avenue, Monson, MA

 

Ending:                    Halliganís Royale Lounge

889 Southbridge Street, Auburn, MA 

 

Contact:                   Allison (Allie) Hebert ~ 774-262-0443

     More than $7,000 was raised for Dave at the 2006 East-West Shootout held in Nashville, IN by Thomas Racing Service.  Each and every rider that won prize money at the event donated their winnings to Dave...truly demonstrating the unity and compassion held universally by competitors in the great sport of hillclimb.  King of the Hill salutes all 10 prize-winning riders for their generosity, as well as all those who donated directly and/or purchased DW7 stickers to help out.

UPDATE 11/22/06 - Dave is doing considerably better, and is able to hold a phone to his ear and listen to someone talk to him - although he is as yet not able to speak himself and respond, he can listen to someone and understand what they are saying.  He's still got issues with movement on the right side of his body, but has been undergoing therapy and is able to somewhat move himself around with a cane or crutches or in a wheelchair.  Dave's come a very long way from where he started, but still has a long way to go...your continued support is much appreciated!

     Dave is currently at the following hospital, and may be available for visitation:

Community Hospital East
1500 N Ritter Avenue
Indianapolis IN. 46219

     You can also send cards and such to Dan/Dave c/o Jeff Thomas...

Dave/Dan Watson
2848 Old State Road 37
Greenwood IN. 46143

     Word has it that about $1,800 was raised for Dave at the Quaboag Riders M/C charity ride, which is great!

UPDATE 2/7/07 - Dave is at home now, following excellent progress in his recovery.  He can move about by himself, and can carry on a conversation.  We are excited for Dave and grateful for his greatly improving condition.  He even popped into the forums a few days ago and made a post under Jeff Thomas' profile (he was at Jeff's house at the time).  Still an uphill battle, but the hill is getting smaller every day.

     We all have Dave in our hearts and minds, and hope for a speedy and full recovery.  As more news becomes available, we'll keep this site updated with the information so everyone can keep up to date.  There are active discussions about Dave and his condition on the King of the Hill forums - feel free to stop by and get in on the discussion.