Punctured lung can't keep Dobbels away from fair

Cala Smoldt/Staff Reporter
Jacob Dobbels watches the derby Saturday night from the safety of the announcers box, wearing a shirt made by the Officials that says, "I survived the 2014 Mercer County Trailer Races."

They couldn't keep Jacob Dobbels away from the Mercer County Fair's Demolition Derby Saturday night. It was the first day he was allowed out of his hospital bed in Peoria. He was injured during Wednesday's "Night of Destruction Races" at the Mercer County Fair, 15 year old Jacob of Cambridge, left in an ambulance. He said he has been involved in demo's for eight years, since he was 6 years old. He started out in Morrison in the 'Kids Demo'. Last year he was a driver in the Rookie Class in area demolition derby's. It runs in his family - Jacob's father and uncle help out at the Mercer County derby

His brother's were flagging the night that almost ended in tragedy, and one of them flagged to stop the oncoming vehicles where Jacob was laying on the track. Jacob described what took place Wednesday night when things took a 'turn for the worst'. He was driving a truck pulling a trailer at the trailer races when his seat belt broke and he was thrown through the window. His foot caught on the steering wheel and the truck rolled over him. His mother, Jenny Dobbels said, "We all thought he was dead." Later Jacob told his mother he thought he was dead too, because, said Jacob, "I couldn't breathe, that was kinda scary."

Yet, he suffered no broken bones.

He does have a punctured lung, a bleed on his adrenal gland, and laceration of his liver.

He was taken by ambulance to Genesis Medical Center, Aledo and then to St. Francis Hospital in Peoria. At the hospital, he was upset because they had to cut off his new 'Officials' shirt. The Kinsey's made him a new shirt with an addition that says, "I survived the 2014 Mercer County Trailer Races."

Jacob's mother said he argued non-stop with the doctors because he wanted to be at the demolition derby Saturday night. Thankful to be there, he had to sit carefully along the sidelines in the pit as his brothers, 14 year old Josh, and 16 year old James helped as 'Officials' by flagging that night. He was given strict instructions to be careful for 4-6 weeks. No jolt, or any rough housing or he could start bleeding internally.

Chris, his father, and Rick Dobbels, Jacob's uncle were also there as 'Officials'. Rick says the boys have been involved in Motor sports all their lives.

He plans on participating again the next chance he gets. Jacob said, "I can't wait until next year."