INCLINE VILLAGE " An Incline Village man is slowly recovering after he suffered a near-fatal accident two weeks ago at a popular rock climbing destination in Carson City.
Mark Shuey Jr., 40, of Incline, was rock climbing on Aug. 23 at Dinosaur Rock in Carson City, above the Costco warehouse store, when he fell about 25 feet and suffered serious injuries in what friends and family are calling a "freak accident."
Shuey Jr. was flown to Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno via Care Flight helicopter, where he remained in the intensive care unit for more than a week.
"I just thank God he had a helmet. I can't stress that enough, that he was wearing a helmet," said relative Cindy Shuey. "He's got a long road ahead of him, and we're praying he'll come out of this as good as new. He was an experienced climber. It was just an accident."
Shuey Jr. suffered a pair of broken ankles, a broken pelvis, broken ribs and brain trauma that caused "extensive" damage to his cognitive ability. He was moved earlier this week from the intensive care unit to the hospital's neuroscience wing, said friend Riley Maclean, who was hiking with Shuey Jr. the day of the accident.
"It was a freak accident," Maclean said. "He was wearing his helmet, which saved his life, but still, it's a very serious injury to his head " it's going to take a lot (of recovery)."
Maclean and Cindy Shuey said one of Shuey Jr.'s rope clips slipped, causing the accident.
"When he went to sit on (the rope harness) for his next approach, it was like a chair was pulled from under him," Cindy Shuey said.
Shuey Jr. is known in Incline for a number of community activities, including teaching tae kwon do classes, being a regular among bowling leagues at Bowl Incline and his patriotic costume of Uncle Sam in stilts at the past two Red, White and Tahoe Blue festivals. His father, Mark Shuey Sr., also is a well-known local and martial arts guru.
Maclean, who is a graduate of Shuey Jr.'s tae kwon do class, said he hopes his friend can make a full recovery.
"I'm confident he's going to recover," he said. "If there's anyone that can recover from an accident like this, it's him."