BIGFORK –On April 11, Bigfork’s Anders Epperly was hit with an errant javelin toss while at track practice.
Epperly was walking outside the sector when a gust of wind pushed the javelin towards him. He was able to turn at the last second and take the blow near his right shoulder on the upper part of his chest.
“He was airflighted from Bigfork to the Kalispell hospital. They had to put a tube in because part of his lung collapsed,” Anders’ father Jim said. “They got him fixed up, and like I said he’s recovering quickly right now, so we’re thankful for that.”
Jim is one of the track coaches for Bigfork and was on hand when the accident occurred. Anders came off the javelin hill bleeding, sending a bit of fear through Jim.
“It scared me, but once I got him sat down and saw that he was breathing OK and that he was going to be all right, we just had to get that bleeding stopped,” Jim said. “It scared me for sure, but pretty quickly after I got a look at it I knew he was going to be OK.”
The freak accident has kept Anders out of most physical activities the past few weeks. He hasn’t come back to throw the javelin yet, but he has every intention of returning this season. Montana’s all-time assist leader on the hardwood according to the MHSA record books also had his college plans temporarily put on hold.
“He’s going to start rehabbing next week and he hasn’t ruled out the possibility of throwing in a couple weeks. He’s real sore right now, but he’s going to try. He’s going to try to make it back and we’re hopeful he will,” Jim said. “He had some college basketball tryouts coming up, so he’s disappointed he wasn’t able to do those things. But I’m sure his spirits are getting better each day and he’s looking forward to maybe making it back.”