We have spent a lot of time over the years here at LBS poking fun at athletes who suffer embarrassing injuries off the field, but there is nothing funny about the horrifying incident sophomore defensive tackle Kyle Smith experienced last month. Smith, who plays at NAIA Carroll College in Montana, suffered serious burns while attempting to deep fry an onion.
Smith’s girlfriend, Christie Fredericks, shared the disturbing story with the Casper Star-Tribune earlier this week. She said it all started when the oil on the stove began to smoke.
“Kyle didn’t want the smoke alarms to go off so he grabbed the pot off the stove and was taking it outside,” Fredericks explained. “The next thing I know the lid popped and the oil overflowed. Kyle slipped on the oil and it burned him.
“By that time the house was starting to fill with smoke and Kyle was just screaming at me and my daughter to get out of the house.”
Fredericks said she then took her 2-year-old daughter to the garage and waited for Smith when she heard him yell out, “Call 911…my feet are burnt off.”
“When I finally saw him his pants were melted and he was army crawling to the door,” she recalled. “It was pretty traumatic.”
Paramedics arrived and stabilized Smith before he was taken to the emergency room and later air-lifted to the University of Utah Burn Center. His father, Mitch Smith, said Kyle is burned on 20 percent of his body and that his arms look good but his legs will take a while to heal. He underwent skin graft surgery last Friday, with doctors taking skin from his thighs to replace the skin he lost on his feet, toes, shins and calves.
Doctors estimate that Smith will be in a bed at the burn center for about another month. He won’t be able to run again for four months and probably cannot begin working out for another six, meaning he will likely miss the upcoming football season. Here’s hoping he has a full and speedy recovery.