Varsity Extra

After brakes fail in ATV, Idaho prep track standout falls 300 feet over cliff

Michelle Pratt, far right, of Blackfoot leads the 4A girls 1,600 meters in the rain at the 2016 4A state track and field meet at Dona Larsen Park in Boise.
Michelle Pratt, far right, of Blackfoot leads the 4A girls 1,600 meters in the rain at the 2016 4A state track and field meet at Dona Larsen Park in Boise. doswald@idahostatesman.com

Blackfoot High senior Michelle Pratt set an all-classification record in the girls 800 meters at the 4A state track meet in May at Dona Larsen Park.

But the Weber State signee’s track career is on hold after an ATV accident July 3 in Fillmore, Utah.

Pratt was driving an ATV with her cousin down a road with a series of switchbacks in Chalk Creek Canyon when the vehicle’s brakes failed and sent the pair over a 300-foot cliff, according to the Idaho State Journal.

Pratt was initially airlifted to Utah Valley Hospital in Provo before being moved to Salt Lake City’s Neuro Critical Care Unit at the University of Utah Hospital on July 4.

Alisa Pratt, Michelle’s mother, said a torn carotid artery caused a major stroke and she suffered a concussion, fractured vertebra and broke her hand. Pratt’s cousin, Danielle Lewis, fractured her femur.

Both girls were wearing helmets at the time of the accident.

“(Michelle) is going to go through intensive therapy to get her left side to work properly again,” Alisa said. “She is able to walk but is weak in the left leg. Her left arm still needs work, but her hand is broken, slowing its progress.”

In May, Pratt won her third straight 800 title in a record time of 2 minutes, 11.47 seconds, eclipsing the previous all-classification record of 2:13.23 set by Boise High grad and current Washington runner Emily Hamlin. Pratt also repeated as the 4A girls 1,600 champion.

There is no timetable for Pratt’s recovery, and Alisa said she does not know how the accident will affect Michelle’s scholarship at Weber State.

But the family has no doubts about her recovery.

“She’s a tough cookie. She’s pretty strong. She’s going to get through this,” Alisa told Fox 13 in Salt Lake City.

A Go Fund Me page has been set up to help with Pratt’s medical bills. As of Monday afternoon, the fund raiser had reached $1,110 of its $50,000 goal. Alisa is also providing updates on Michelle’s status on her Facebook page.

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