A former police officer, 42-year-old Tom McTevia was paralyzed in an ATV accident 11 years ago. He became a wheelchair advocate, calling for more outdoor activities to offer wheelchair accessibility. However, in an unfortunate accident, McTevia and his best friend Tina Hoisington died after the ATV McTevia he was driving plunged off a 2,000 foot Idaho cliff while the group stopped for a photograph near the edge.
The Spokesman-Review reports that Tom McTevia was driving an ATM with friend Tina Hoisington on the back when the accident occurred. The Review notes that McTevia, despite being paralyzed in an ATV accident in 2004, led an independent life full of adventure and outdoor activity, from kayaking to hunting to skydiving.
“Tom was an active person who enjoyed the outdoors – spending many hours on his UTV, handcycle and kayak. His love for adventure and the outdoors was incredible…. He and his son even took our son camping with them. He was someone you could trust with life’s most precious treasure, your child.”
McTevia spent his time advocating for more wheelchair-bound individuals to partake in outdoor activities. He was particularly proud of his work that finally allowed residents and visitors using wheelchairs to be able to use a new 1,500-foot trail — specially designed with a five percent slope — to view Lake Coeur d’Alene. He called his paralysis an “inconvenience” and said, “Every person on this planet has an inconvenience, and it is all in how you approach it.” Therefore, he never let his wheelchair limit his love for the outdoors.
According to the Daily Mail, McTevia was an avid ATVer and was with a group of friends near an overlook at Lake Pend Oreille in Bonner County on Sunday when the accident occurred. Witnesses say that the group had stopped near the cliff to take a photo. However, McTevia’s ATV got too close to the edge and went over. When fire rescue made it to the scene they had to rappel down 500 feet of rock to find the first victim’s body. The second victim was found 1,100 feet below the cliff’s edge. A helicopter was required to remove the bodies from the rock’s edge.
Those who knew McTevia says he will be deeply missed. Tina Hoisington’s friends and family say that the pair were best friends and that Tina had went on numerous other outdoor outings with McTevia in the past. Meanwhile, Tina’s co-workers say her sense of humor and laugh will be missed by all.
“Our hearts are breaking. Tina touched so many lives… We will miss her laugh and her awesome sense of humor.”
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