As many of you know, pro wakeboarder C.C. Roberts was involved in a serious car accident in the summer of 1997. His exposure and involvement in industry events has been limited since that time due to his commitment to his rehabilitation program. The following is an opportunity for C.C.’s friends and fans to catch up with his progress.
What are you doing today(sometime May 1998)?
Rehab and trying to help Sean Dishman get sponsors for the X-Cup. I’m sore from working out. Something I’ve never done until now.
Hanging out with the Play Station for the rest of the afternoon?
No, I’m reading a bit. No smokin’. No drinkin’. Mainly concentrating on getting out of this chair.
What are you working on?
I go to rehab twice a week. But I do more work at home than I do there. They have me doing like curls and pulldowns with 15 lbs. I’m like, “You’re crazy! Give me at least 50.” I do more than what they say, mainly a lot of stretching and upper body exercise. I try to spend at least two hours a day in my stand-up machine. I just finished another round of biofeedback; biofeedback measures the strength of the connection between the brain and nerves; more feedback equals more possible movement and control; and there is still healing going on.
I saw your new chair – it looks pretty nice.
It took forever to get it. It’s a good chair but, well, any chair you’re in isn’t a good chair. This is temporary. I had a guy ask me what it was like being in a wheelchair and I said, ‘I’m not in a wheelchair, I just use it to get around.’
As far as you know, what happened the night of the accident?
Well, I picked up Andy at Chase’s house and we went over to Todd’s and met up with him and his buddy Tommy. We waited for them to get ready to go downtown, then Todd said we would go to this bar and hang out and see what’s up later. Drew and Frankie and a couple others were going out and we thought we would hook up with them. We went to this bar, I had about three beers in a couple of hours, Andy pretty much hung out with me because he really didn’t know anybody from Orlando. Todd and Tommy knew some people and were hanging out with them. I don’t really know how much they drank or what they did while they were there. We decided to leave and Tommy seemed alright to drive and everything. We left and headed back to Todd’s. Tommy missed the turn onto Todd’s road. After the turn to Todd’s, the road changes to dirt. Tommy started to speed up on the dirt road and Andy and I were yelling at him to slow down. Andy was like, “Why the hell are you going so fast?” He told us to calm down. I figured he was going to do an E-brake and head back the other way. I remember him speeding up. The car started to get sideways one way, he corrected it and went back the other way. That’s about all I remember. Obviously, he lost control and we went straight into the tree.
I’m sort of unclear about what happened after that. Todd, Tommy and I were all knocked out, and I guess Andy’s foot was stuck under the seat. I’m not sure if Andy got help or someone passed by us and helped Andy out. The next thing I remember I woke up in the hospital.
Unfortunately, Todd died the next morning in the hospital. Your family and friends decided not to tell you about Todd in order to keep you focused on your recovery; was that the right choice?
Yeah, they didn’t tell me for like three weeks. It was probably the right decision. I was pretty drugged up for awhile and couldn’t really underrstand much anyways.
I know your mom and dad have been super supportive; how are they?
They are rad. They’ve been a huge part of my recovery.
It seems like this has brought you all closer together.
Who else has stuck by you?
Scott and Ryan Byerly, Butch, my family, you, Thomas and Sarah, Chase and Matt call sometimes, Drew, Shawn D., Shawn W., Matt M., Casey, Scott Mohr. A lot of people call and ask if I’m moving yet. I want to be like, “No, but I’ll come and kick you when I do.” I hate that. But I guess they don’t really know what else to say. They all mean well, but it’s frustrating.
What about your sponsors?
Billabong has been super cool, they still send me clothes and stuff. I think it’s partly because of Jesse; Jesse Bauer is a pro surfer who broke his neck surfing and is also temporarily using a chair.; Arnette, thanks to Butch. And Nautique, thanks to Mohr.
Neptune? I heard a story about them. What’s up?
I got a card when I was in the hospital, then didn’t see or hear from them until Worlds three months later. They had me sign autographs for them. I wish I would’ve known then that they wouldn’t honor my contract. They showed me my new contract just before the accident. I guess they figured, ‘Well, too bad you didn’t sign it, we don’t need to pay you ’cause you’re paralyzed.’
Will you ride again?
Yes, definitely. No doubt in my mind.
I know you want to do some driving and some judging.
I’m going to start doing some driving for Chase and Matt, and I hope to start doing some judging at the X-Cup events.
Sometimes you get leg spasms that you can’t control; what happened with the lady at the mall?
I have involuntary muscle movement which my brain can’t stop. During Christmas, Scott and I were in line at the mall and I kicked this lady’s bag in front of me. She kind of looked at me like we were just messing around. Then when she turned back around it happened again. We had to leave.
Who do you want to thank?
Everyone that has stood by me; you certainly find out who your friends are. One thing I want to say is that I’m lucky to have my parents and one good friend. No matter how busy he is or even if this guy’s traveling, he calls or stops by. He even takes me out all the time. I am lucky to have him as a best friend and want to thank him for all the love and support. Scott Byerly, you are the best, thanks for everything. Love you like a brother.