Rachel Gray, the El Dorado Hills woman who suffered major burns after her vehicle rolled over and caught fire on the Rubicon Trail’s Cadillac Hill during the Jeepers Jamboree event, required her left leg below the knee to be amputated at UC Davis Burn Unit Wednesday morning and is in critical but stable condition.
In attempting to contact Gray’s parents, the Mountain Democrat was referred to Chris Patton, longtime friend of Gray, 21, and liaison with Gray’s parents. Speaking for Leesa Williams, Gray’s mother, Patton said Gray went into surgery Wednesday for the amputation.
“She was in surgery for seven hours, she’s making a great recovery and had a great night,” Patton said. Skin grafts had to be applied to her abdomen. “She’s scheduled for surgeries the rest of the week in the morning.”
Patton said that Gray’s parents are encouraging friends to come and show their support. “Nurses have been amazed at her recovery,” he said. Patton confirmed that Gray has third-degree burns over 75 percent of her body.
UC Davis Medical Center still lists Gray in critical condition and Patton said she remains stable.
Friend Lori Wilson said Gray, a real estate agent at Re/Max Gold in Fair Oaks, could face a long recovery of between six and nine months.
“She is fighting hard and has lots of love and support, but this will be a very long recovery,” Wilson wrote on Facebook and shared with the Mountain Democrat. “The recovery process will be long and extensive, but she will get through this thanks to the love and support of everyone!”
At the site of the accident where the flames extended beyond the vehicle and into nearby wildland, the U.S. Forest service dropped water on the fire that grew to about two acres as of Monday, said Georgetown Gazette Editor Rebecca Murphy, who had been on-scene for the Jeepers Jamboree. The fire has since been contained and extinguished.
As the Jeeps left the area the Forest Service stopped them twice, for two hours at a time. “The Forest Service kept closing the road,” said Murphy, who was part of the last group of 200 or so Jeeps. “They had to fell large trees,” which she said had “snags that were smoldering over the trail,” and prevented the Jeeps continuing on their route.
“The Forest Service was anxious to get us out, or close the road,” Murphy added.
It later took a call from Sheriff John D’Agostini at the behest of the Jeepers Jamboree Committee to urge the Forest Service to get the Jeeps out.
The CHP, the investigating agency, also had a helicopter on site. ”The CHP hovered over the accident site, maybe taking photos,” Murphy said.
An account has been set up to accept donations for Gray at the El Dorado Savings Bank under the name of Rachel Anne Gray. The account number is 263017782. A Facebook page has been set up at facebook.com/RAGEFoundation, after Gray’s nickname.