After decades spent racing snowmachines with a variety of injuries but none serious, former Iron Dog champion Todd Palin today finds himself in an Alaska hospital the victim of a body-smashing crash that came while driving a heavy work sled.
Friends say Palin suffered a broken collarbone, and possible rib, shoulder and lung injuries after rolling a Ski-doo Skandic along or near the Petersville Road west of Talkeetna over the weekend. The Skandic is a 650-pound, snowmachine behemoth Ski-doo bills as “your serious work snowmobile.”
A four-time champion in the Iron Dog — the world’s longest, toughest snowmobile race — Palin was reported to be with family members hauling supplies to a Palin-family cabin in the Petersville area when the accident happened. He was medevaced to the Mat-Su Regional Medical Center.
“The Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman,” the Palin’s hometown newspaper in the Wasilla area, Monday reported that “the Mat-Su Borough sent out an email saying emergency responders were called to Cubby’s Marketplace south of Talkeetna for a report of a snowmachine accident that took place north of there. The email said medics transported one patient to Mat-Su Regional Medical Center with serious injuries. The crash involved a single snowmachine.”
Mat-Su Borough spokeswoman Patty Sullivan said via text message that borough attorneys told her she couldn’t talk about what happened because of federal health privacy regulations. There has been debate around the country about how new federal privacy rules governing patients are to be handled by emergency services.
Palin’s accident was first announced by the Trump for President campaign which issued this statement to Fox News and other national media:
“Todd Palin was in a bad snow machine accident last night and is currently hospitalized. Gov. Palin is returning to Alaska to be with her husband and looks forward to being back on the campaign trail soon. Mr. Trump’s thoughts and prayers are with the Palin family at this time.”
Fox reported Todd was in intensive care, but that could not be immediately confirmed. Friends said that there were concerns about possible internal bleeding, but that Todd was thought to be OK.
Todd and Iron Dog partner Shane Barber from Willow were forced to scratch from this year after one of their snowmachines broke down in Nenana.