A Canoe man, one of Escambia County’s most noted cotton farmers, is recuperating in a Mobile hospital after he apparently lost consciousness and crashed his motorcycle in northwestern Clarke County last Saturday, April 8.
Robert Wiley Farrar Sr., 65, lost a leg to the accident but otherwise suffered only minor injuries, said Susan Farrar, the crash victim’s wife of 10 years.
“He’s doing pretty good, considering the circumstances,” she said during a Tuesday phone conversation. “They finished the amputation on Sunday. Of course, they medicated him for the pain (when he arrived at the hospital), but he was talking and joking Saturday night. Now, that’s resilient.”
Investigator Ron Baggette of the Clarke County Sheriff’s Office confirmed Monday that Farrar was one of about a dozen riders from Atmore and the surrounding area who were enjoying a trip to Ezell’s Fish Camp, a Choctaw County restaurant located on the banks of the Tombigbee River, where they planned to enjoy a meal before heading homeward.
They were reportedly traveling along Tallahatta Springs Road, in one of Clarke County’s most isolated areas, when disaster struck.
Farrar was operating a 2006 Suzuki as he approached the intersection of Tallahatta Springs Road and Strawberry Road, which features a sharp curve, when the Suzuki inexplicably continued in a straight line and traveled into the parking lot of the building that serves as the post office for the tiny hamlet of Campbell.
“There’s a 90-degree turn there, and he just went straight,” Baggette said.
According to the sheriff’s investigator, Farrar and his bike slammed into a 2001 GMC Jimmy that is owned by the unincorporated community’s postmaster, who was inside the building when the crash occurred.
Susan Farrar said a medical condition was the catalyst for the crash.
“His blood sugar dropped, and he blacked out,” she said. “These are his words: ‘I looked up and saw a mail truck; I said I’m going to hit that truck.’ And he hit that truck.”
Farrar’s left leg was reportedly mangled in the crash. He was flown by an Air Evac Lifeteam helicopter to University of South Alabama Medical Center, where doctors had no recourse but to remove the badly damaged limb.
Susan Farrar, who said her husband was to be moved Tuesday from the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit to a private room, classified the series of events immediately following the mishap, which could have proven fatal, as nothing short of miraculous.
“He could have died, but it seems like everything just fell into place,” she said. “There is no cell phone service in that area, but there was a land line at the post office. The helicopter (which is based in Demopolis, about 55 miles from the crash site) was five miles down the road, doing a demonstration. It’s a miracle, that’s all I can say.”
She added that the family has received an outpouring of well wishes and offers of support from friends, neighbors and others.
“Everybody has been calling, asking what they can do to help,” she said. “Right now, all anybody can do is pray. If you didn’t know how bad he was hurt, you couldn’t tell it. Other than losing the leg, he just has little band aids on two of his fingers and one on his elbow. It’s going to be a long road, but he’s going to make it.”