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Utah doctors try to save man's legs after Tooele boxcar accident

Published September 8, 2012 7:12 pm

Workplace injury • Worker fell under slowly moving car, family says.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Jim Hodgson had been training for a marathon before a Friday boxcar accident left him with injuries that are threatening his legs.

On Friday morning, Hodgson was working at Utah Fabrication in Tooele when he slipped while trying to apply the handbrake on a boxcar. He fell under the wheels of the car, which was moving at walking pace, according to his family. The car almost severed his left leg and injured his right.

He was flown by helicopter to University Hospital, where surgeons have been working to save his legs.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the injury, and Hodgson's family asked not to be named while the inquiry is under way.

Hodgson, 33, loves to exercise and had been training to run a marathon this year, a family member said. Now he's having to consider a future without at least one of his legs, the relative said.

On Saturday, Hodgson was initially in serious but stable condition, with his legs intact, and off the ventilator sooner than anticipated. Doctors said he would have been in worse condition without the strength he developed while training for the run, his family said.

But his right leg took a turn for worse on Saturday, and Hodgson had to go back into surgery.

A hospital representative said Saturday night that Hodgson was in critical condition.

For the next week, Hodgson is expected to be in and out of the operating room, possibly every other day, as doctors remove pieces of damaged bone, muscle and skin, his family said.

They started a fund at American First Credit Union to help with medical costs. The account is under "The Hodgson Family," and donations can be made at any branch.

mmcfall@sltrib.com