|Ron “Cowboy” Neal (above) fondly recalls Jeff Wright.|
STORY No. 33
RON “COWBOY’ NEAL
Great Falls, MT
University of Wyoming, US Ski Team
I thought someone should reminisce a bit about Jeff Wright. He was a very good friend of mine, an outstanding human being and a good jumper. Unfortunately he was killed on Harris Hill in Brattleboro, Vt. in 1975 at age 22. He was wearing a helmet (leather), but fell on the outrun sustaining a skull fracture that transected the middle meningeal artery and he quickly succumbed to an epidural hematoma.
This is somewhat ironic as 2 years prior to this Jeff and I had been in Europe for the four-hills tournament, along with the rest of the U.S. team, and our team physician was a recently minted neurosurgeon from Mayo. The three of us were exploring a medieval castle downstream from Bischofshofen when the doc fell down a hillside. He was ok, but he tutored us on the signs and symptoms of head injury, including subdural and epidural hematoma. He said it was necessary to decompress the epidural type swiftly through a burr hole. A Black and Decker was adequate if nothing else. Unfortunately no one was available with one at the time Jeff was injured.
I miss him still after 37 years and recall with gladness all the good times we had together.
Editor’s note- Link to an article on the Jeff Wright accident in the Montreal Gazette, Jan 6, 1975- http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=LRQyAAAAIBAJ&sjid=2qEFAAAAIBAJ&pg=4054%2C1052161