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Community Rallies Around Longmont Teen Paralyzed In 4-Wheeling Accident

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

LONGMONT, Colo. (CBS4) – A community north of Denver is rallying around a high school junior who is paralyzed after a fluke accident while 4-wheeling in his Jeep.

Tyler Hoog is a baseball player at Skyline High School in Longmont. Since his accident on Aug. 28 there has been an outpouring of support from those who knew him well, and even those who don’t know him much at all.

Chelsea Engard and Shelby Keil created, by hand, a banner to support Hoog. He’s a junior at Skyline High School and was injured while driving his Jeep in the mountains during a 4-wheel drive trip with his parents and some friends. The Jeep had flipped. He’s now paralyzed from the shoulders down after fracturing three vertebrae.

Engard and Keil both play on the women’s softball team at Silver Creek High School, a rival school in Longmont. They made one of several banners the team will display when they play Skyline Tuesday night to show support for Hoog. He’s someone they know, but not very well. The team will also all wear ribbons in their hair that say “Hope for Hoog.”

It’s one part of a community-wide effort to not only show support for Hoog, but to raise money for his family to help with medical bills. “Hope for Hoog” wristbands were sold for $3 apiece during a recent football game, along with Skyline Falcon baseball hats.

Engard also started a Facebook page called “Hope for Hoog” that already has more than 1,400 followers. People can write messages to Hoog and Engard reposts updates from Hoog’s family.

Hoog’s parents try to post updates daily on JKCrawlers.com — a site for 4-wheel enthusiasts. A recent post on his Facebook page by a family member talked about Hoog asking for music, books on tape, and inspirational quotes as he prepares himself for what’s ahead in rehab.

Skyline’s baseball team, as well as its student council, have helped to set up the “Hope for Hoogie” fund to raise money for Hoog’s recovery. He’s currently at St. Anthony Hospital recovering from surgery on his spine.

For information on how to support Hoog and his family, contact Travis O’Hair at ohair_michael@svvsd.org or (602) 410-6021.

To follow Hoog’s progress, visit http://bit.ly/hopeforhoogie.

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