Storey County Fire Captain’s Son Seriously Injured
On Monday, February 19th Fritz Klinger, Storey County Fire Captain, got the call that strikes terror into the heart of every parent. While on duty in Virginia City, he learned his youngest son, Rhett Klinger, was struck by an automobile while riding his bike in his front yard.
Earlier in the day, the Klingers dealt with their oldest son’s snowboarding accident where he was treated at Renown Hospital for a broken tailbone. After reporting for duty, Captain Klinger got the call that his youngest son was in the hospital.
“My son was riding his bike on a ramp he set up on the sidewalk. The car struck Rhett and hit the ramp throwing him into the street. As he tried to get up, the car rolled over him further injuring him and then continued down the sidewalk. The driver got out of the vehicle and stood by her car seemingly unfazed by the incident. She didn’t appear to realize what she had just done.” said Mr. Klinger.
Sparks Fire Department rushed Rhett to the trauma center at Renown Hospital where he remains in Critical but stable condition. Rhett suffered a head injury with small brain bleeding, a serious concussion, and a broken femur. He is in a drug-induced coma and on a ventilator, and his family is by his bedside.
Surgery Scheduled for Thursday
We spoke with Mr. Klinger earlier today and the concerned father shared with The Teller this update.
“He’s stable right now but has been unconscious since Monday. His right femur is broken and he has a bad concussion. He has been slowly improving making small movements and even opened his eyes a few times.
They have him scheduled for surgery first thing tomorrow as long as he keeps improving today. He just got back from his MRI, so we should hear the results from the radiologist soon but from what the neurological doctor said, he looks really good. He just needs time to heal”, Klinger told The Teller this evening.
GoFundMe Fundraiser Set Up
The Storey County Fire Fighters Association set up a GoFundMe fundraiser page and the heartfelt support from the community is running strong. At the time of this writing, the page has raised over $ 14,000. The Storey Teller encourages you to donate what you can by following this link.
While the Klinger Family has medical insurance through the county, it is unknown how hard this will impact the family financially. With the worry of a potential long-term effect of this accident, needing to pay for the medical care should be the last thing on the family’s mind. If you can contribute, please do so.
A Father’s Positive Attitude Gives Us All A Reason For Hope
We were impressed with the calm positive tone in Mr. Klinger’s voice when we spoke to him today. Perhaps it’s a result of his years of experience dealing with traumatic situations in the Fire Department, but it is a testament to the courage of the family.
“It’s a freak accident but it could have been so much worse. We are just so grateful that we have this opportunity to fight for him. Please keep him in your prayers”, Mr. Klinger told us.
Pray we will.