There are so many people who have asked what happened to Lorin on July 6. There are even more who helped with the search or have called since to see how he is and offer ongoing help (thankfully we aren’t needing more help!). I will try to reconstruct what happened that day.
By Karen Dvirnek
For the DC Herald
On Weds, July 6 about 9:30 a.m., Lorin left for the fields to spray weeds. Since he has his special “spraying shirt” I knew what he was wearing when the search team asked.
Although we knew he had gone towards the fields we also know he may have bypassed the house and gone up the mountains later. When he wasn’t home by two, I decided for my own peace of mind I should go see if I could find him. I thought he may have decided to cut more hay or something and often he can’t hear his phone ring but he generally calls me around noon. I went by the roads and trails but saw no sign of him. About three miles from home it started raining hard. There are no wipers on the side by side so I headed home, having difficulty seeing the road. At one point I was only about 100 yards from Lorin but I couldn’t see that far. I headed home, certain that when the rain ended Lorin would be home. About four, I decided it was time to start calling people to search. Everyone I called came immediately and the total numbers of people searching is impossible to know.
Lorin had gone into a slight creek bank to spray weeds. There was a log that he decided to go around so he was backing up when something went wrong. He ended up under the 4-wheeler and was pinned from waist to neck. He had his cell phone and could hear us calling him on it but it was too far for him to reach. He says Canadian thistle doesn’t taste so good. He had a mouthful when he landed. He doesn’t think he was ever unconscious and he felt at peace even when he thought he would be taking his tour of Heaven and greeting people he knew there. We are so thankful that he did not do that for awhile yet.
God was at work even days before this. Tim Dvirnak had found his ER kit that he used when he did regular ambulance runs as an EMT. So he had that handy and found tarps, blankets etc. before they headed out to search.
Lorin had just a basic cell phone, not a smart phone. (As of now he does have a smart phone). So when it pinged it was harder to locate. The GPS does not always work in the Killdeer mountains. Then it pinged that Lorin was about 7-10 miles off our land, Tim and Craig D. decided to keep searching on the sections where Lorin had gone to spray weeds. Eventually Craig’s son Andres saw wheels of the ATV in the air. Lorin was waving his legs to let them know he was alive! Craig, Tim and Andrew are all healthy but not football player builds. Tim says that when the three of them lifted the ATV it felt “light as a feather!” WE BELIEVE IN MIRACLES!
Although it rained on Lorin a few times he has no cough or other side effects from the weather.
The Killdeer ambulance took Lorin to the helicopter that flew him to Dickinson as Bismarck was too stormy for their flight. It would have been exciting to see all the police, search and rescue, helicopter etc. in action if it hadn’t been such a frightening time. It is another miracle that most tests and x-rays etc. came back fine. No internal injuries requiring surgery etc. The only concern was and is that the markers in the blood indicating muscle damage were very high but are slowly coming down. The best treatment for them is rest and fluids. He has had an amazing amount of IV fluids over the last several days. The markers are better. He is at home and doing better each day.
One change in our lives is going to be that Lorin checks in with me more frequently and lets me know where he is. If he had promised to call and hadn’t, I would have worried sooner. So as a dear friend says, “all farmers-ranchers should have their own flight plan so someone knows when and where to start looking if needed. Our lifestyle is dangerous and it isn’t feasible to have someone with you all the time but we can keep in contact!”
Karen and Lorin Dvirnak