By Laurelle Walsh
Twisp pilot, flight instructor, retired dentist, actor and raconteur Bob Hoffman has had to give up dual roles as Valentine and the priest in The Merc Playhouse’s production of Twelfth Night, due to injuries from a motor scooter accident on July 21.
Hoffman was airlifted to Wenatchee Valley Medical Center after hitting a deer near the Idle-a-While Motel in Twisp. He suffered 11 broken ribs, broken clavicle and a punctured lung.
He returned home to Twisp on Thursday (July 24), and is “feeling better slowly but surely,” he said. “The doc said I can’t fly for three weeks though.”
Hoffman’s accident was only three days after he put his piloting skills to the test in service to the Town of Twisp.
Near the start of the recent eight-day power outage, it was discovered that the water pump had failed on the auxiliary generator for Twisp’s No. 2 well, according to Public Works Administrative Assistant Lori Rodio.
In the midst of highway closures and temporary flight restrictions in the airspace over the Carlton Complex Fire, Twisp council member John Fleming asked Hoffman if he would fly to the town of Odessa, Washington, to pick up the necessary part.
Hoffman received permission to fly out, and he and Fleming took off from Twisp at noon, low on gas, flying under instrument control through dense smoke and turbulence all the way to Wenatchee, according to Hoffman. After refueling, the two made their way to Odessa, picked up the part, and flew directly back to Twisp, arriving by 4 p.m.
Public Works Superintendent Howard Moss and former council member Clint Estes successfully fixed the generator before the town’s reservoir got too low, Rodio said.
Rob Brooks has taken over for Hoffman in the parts of Valentine and the priest.