• Schedule for the week of Oct. 15: Mon., No school; Tues., All day; Wed., Even; Thurs., Odd; Fri., Conferences

  • Daniels Scholarship presentation will be Thurs., 10/18, at lunch at College Plaza.

The Demon Tattler

SFHS Graduate, Severely Injured in Army Training Accident, Seeks Support


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Ezra Maes, a graduate of Santa Fe High’s class of 2016, is a 1 Abram’s crewman in the United States Army. Ezra was critically injured on Sept. 18 in a tank accident. His injuries include an amputated right leg, a broken lower left leg, a broken shoulder and five pelvis fractures. A GoFundMe campaign is gathering support for the many expenses he and his family are already incurring as he recovers.

According to information on Ezra’s GoFundMe campaign page, the tank he was in malfunctioned during a field training exercise in Slovakia. As he and his fellow crew members struggled to regain control of the tank — and to call for help — the tank crashed through the trees and picked up speed. They eventually went down into a ravine. When the tank violently hit the bottom, the turret broke away from the hull.

Ezra was thrown toward the turret. His sergeant was thrown forward into the control panels, and the driver was trapped in the driver’s hole. After they stopped moving, Ezra realized he was trapped. He braced himself to free himself from the turret, and this action tore his leg off.

Ezra then hopped to the back of the tank to get the first aid equipment while the sergeant was also trying to free herself. That’s when Ezra’ blood loss became extreme, so he used his belt as a tourniquet to stop the bleeding. While most of his leg was severed in the accident, Ezra had to complete the amputation process himself.

The crew lost radio contact with command when the turret separated, but they heard Ezra’s phone buzzing. The sergeant was able to find the phone but was unable to use Ezra’ passcode to get in, so she tossed the phone down to him. Ezra was able to catch the phone and call for help while holding his belt in his teeth to prevent additional blood loss.

Once rescue arrived, the injured soldiers were raced from the scene and then airlifted to a hospital. Several days later, they were transported to Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas.

Ezra, a native of New Mexico, joined the army as soon as he turned 18, while still a high school senior. Now 20, Ezra had been nominated for officers’ school at West Point and was in the middle of the application process.

Ezra loves all sports. His favorites are snowboarding, rock climbing and golf. He insists that these injuries will not stop him from enjoying these activities — he will just have to figure out a new way to do them.

Ezra is so thankful for the love and support of his family and friends. He knows the road to recovery will be long, but he says he is so happy to have a second chance at life and to be able to travel that road. The army will be handling his medical bills, and he remains on active duty.

The GoFundMe campaign will help Ezra and his family with daily life expenses that may not be covered, such as travel, food, and living expenses. His support system — his mother, stepfather, brothers, and grandmother — will also need support. His mother, Angela Hasted, will soon run out of vacation and sick leave and may have to leave her job in Santa Fe to stay with Ezra in San Antonio.

Here is the link to Ezra’s GoFundMe campaign:

https://www.gofundme.com/ezra-maes

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SFHS Graduate, Severely Injured in Army Training Accident, Seeks Support