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Sep 22, 2006

And Now A Message From Lockhart-Phillips USA's Aaron Lephart, On The Road To Recovery

FIRST PERSON/OPINION

Via e-mail:

Dear family/friends/colleagues,

This is a letter I did not foresee writing 5 short months ago. And honestly speaking it's not something I look forward to writing or addressing. However truth be told there are allot of people that deserve recognition which warrants the creation of this letter.

No one knows for sure what happened on April 22nd 2006 except that day will forever be burned into my mind. I remember one thing and everyone else remembers something different. That much isn't surprising and the end result ends up being the same. I don't know of a single post that outlined the full extent of all of my injuries however here they are: Brain sheer, orbital fracture above the right eye, broken jaw in 2 places, broken back in 2 places, broken right wrist, and a deflated right lung placing me in a trauma induced coma for just shy of a month.

I'm nearly off the road to recovery but the lasting effects mentally maybe life long. And that's not necessarily a bad thing.

The level of support I have received during this accident is truly awesome. So many people came from the woodwork to show their support. I would like to specifically address some people now although there are so many more.

Mom and Dad: If this hasn't added a couple of grey hairs to your scalp I would truly be amazed. My only hope is that someday I can repay you by enlisting the values you have set forth and bestowed upon me to a child of my own. Besides perhaps myself you two where the most affected by this accident. After all I was "asleep" for 1 month of that time. I respect and admire you both for your support through this ordeal.

Wendell Phillips: The level of support you have provided is deserving of special recognition. I don't know of many owners of a company who would extend their hand in support quite as far as you have. I consider you a good friend as well so that makes your support all the more meaningful. That being said this has further solidified my commitment to the company and you for years to come.

Almendra Johnson: Almendra you have been there from the very start and I deeply appreciate the support you have provided. I consider you a good personal friend as well and I thank you immensely. You where there for me when I was emotionally and physically weakened. Through kind words and the high level of fattening foods you graciously provided, you eased me through both. Your one of the few people I don't mind being vulnerable around, and that's saying allot. All in all not bad for an HR chick!

Rick and Summar Ruelle: You where both with me that fateful Saturday morning in April. I still remember Summars kind words after the accident as I struggled to retain consciousness. With a baby now on the way I regret having to show you two firsthand how precious life truly is.

To everyone else: There are so many others I hardly know where to begin. You where all a part of my recovery, believe that. I look forward to speaking with you all in the months ahead and catching up. From all the cards and correspondents it was truly a comforting feeling.

Final thoughts: Though I have experienced more emotion then I have room to write I do want to address one thing. Will I ride again? YES I would be fooling myself if I said differently. I realize more then ever how inherently dangerous it is. However there is allot to be said for freewill.

All the best,

Aaron Lephart
Mission Viejo, California