STAFF WRITER CONNIE SWINNEY
MARBLE FALLS — After being released from the hospital June 20, all David Baltz can think about is how to keep busy while he recovers from leg surgery.
“My biggest problem is going to find something to do over the next 10 weeks or so,” said the 60-year-old Granite Shoals resident, who is a tile setter by trade.
On June 17, Baltz and a car in the Marble Falls Soapbox Classic adult soapbox derby races collided near the finish line on Third Street in downtown Marble Falls.
Baltz was volunteering at the Father’s Day weekend event by towing vehicles at the end of each race.
“After they’d finish a race, I’d hook them up to a Gator and pull them back up the hill,” he said.
The incident unfolded during the mid-afternoon Powder Puff race.
“There were two girls coming down the hill. One made it to the bottom, but one of them spun out into the hay bales. I reacted and headed over to her to make sure she was OK,” he said. “(The other racer) swerved to miss her, and then it was kind of a deer-in-the-headlights deal.
“She didn’t know which way I was going, and I didn’t know which way she was going,” he added. “I couldn’t get my leg out of the way quick enough.”
As a result, he broke the tibia and fibula in one of his legs.
“Once I got past the first couple of minutes of pure agony, I think my body went into shock. I was trying to make the girl who hit me feel better,” he said. “I told her, ‘Sweetie, this was an accident. Once everything was set in motion, there was nothing we could do about it.’”
To repair his leg, surgeons installed a rod. Three days later, they gave Baltz a clean bill of health and sent him home.
Friends have started an online account to assist him with his living expenses.
Baltz said he remains fond of the adult soapbox derby event but will pay heed to a warning from his 18-year-old daughter after spending Father’s Day in the hospital undergoing surgery.
“I thought I might want to volunteer again in the future, but my daughter has told me ‘no,’” he said. “I guess I better listen to what she’s telling me.”