Former firefighter returns to Madison Regatta after being severe - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Former firefighter returns to Madison Regatta after being severely injured

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Chris Cutshall Chris Cutshall
Cutshall suffered a serious head injury, broke his neck and back and his right leg was crushed. Cutshall suffered a serious head injury, broke his neck and back and his right leg was crushed.
The annual Water Ball fight. The annual Water Ball fight.
Cutshall was on a rescue barge on the river as a safety volunteer when a hydroplane driver missed a buoy and crashed right into them, Cutshall was on a rescue barge on the river as a safety volunteer when a hydroplane driver missed a buoy and crashed right into them,
Austin Austin

MADISON, IN (WAVE) – A former firefighter, who was almost killed, at the Madison Regatta a few years ago in a horrible accident is determined to go back this year. 

The rescue worker was critically injured during the 2011 race when a boat missed a buoy.

As firefighters aim to win bragging rights at the annual Water Ball fight, it's a clear sign the Madison Regatta is just around the corner. 

It's the best time of year for this river town, but one of the faces in the crowd this year has overcome more obstacles than most. 

"I remember going a couple years back," said Chris Cutshall, who was injured at Madison Regatta. 

Behind the lens, Cutshall took pictures and captured new memories. "I took some of everything," said Cutshall. 

This all comes after this former firefighter's life was brought to an abrupt halt almost exactly two years ago.

"I was hurt at the Madison Regatta," said Cutshall. 

In 2011, Cutshall was on a rescue barge on the river as a safety volunteer ready to help if needed, but when a hydroplane driver missed a buoy and crashed right into them, it was the safety volunteers that needed rescued.
 
Cutshall was near death. He suffered a serious head injury, broke his neck and back and his right leg was crushed. 

"It wasn't their fault," said Cutshall. 

While he will most likely will never get back to his old self, it's his new spirit moving forward that is inspiring others.

"He's positive, he's upbeat, and that's good to see," said Fred Farley, who serves on the Madison Regatta Board. 

"He's an upstanding guy," said Austin Cutshall, victim's son. "If he is strong enough to get through this, he can basically get through anything."

Cutshall's son Austin, 12, said he couldn't be more proud of his dad even though the road to recovery hasn't been easy. Cutshall has no memory of his son except from last year on.

"I always bring up stuff from my childhood, like one time we went to the zoo up in Louisville," said Austin. 

That's another reason Cutshall always has his camera. "I hope to have many pictures," said Cutshall. 

As this firefighter watched an event, that he too once competed in, Cutshall says he is content and couldn't imagine being anywhere else this time of year than in Madison.

"It's good to have him back where he belongs," said Farley. 

Cutshall is currently living full time in a nursing home and rehab facility, but soon he move into his own home next to his family. He also will soon have his own service dog. 

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