BRIGHTON, Colo. (KDVR) — A Brighton Police officer involved in four job-related car crashes is now permanently disabled. But thanks to a high-tech wheelchair provided by Colorado Parks and Wildlife, he is able to continue to enjoy the outdoors.
Bill Holder has ridden in many vehicles in his life. Jeeps and patrol cars are his favorite. Holder was a police officer for the Brighton Police Department for 14-and-a-half years.
Today at Barr Lake State Park, he is jumping in another vehicle. It’s called a trackchair, a specially modified wheelchair fitted with tank-like treads instead of wheels.
It is a challenge for Holder to walk these days. A series of car crashes that began in 1993 put an end to his career in law enforcement.
“I already was parked in an alleyway looking for drunk drivers when one found me. He hit me head-on at probably 55 mph,” Holder said.
Incredibly, that was just the first of four job-related car crashes that ultimately decided Holder’s fate. His injuries may have made it harder to be in his beloved outdoors, but his desire to get out remained.
“One of our favorite things has always been going to Rocky Mountain National Park to see the elk. We like to go to Mount Evans to see the mountain goats and bighorn sheep,” Holder said.
“When you’re unable to walk or go distances,” said his wife, Jana Holder, “it gives you a freedom to not count on others. He is totally independent in the chair.”
Barr Lake State Park volunteer Robert Postovit is part nature guide, part trackchair technician and all friend.
“Bill is amazing. He obviously worked very hard all his life, and he should have the freedom to go and do what he wants to do, and I hope I can help him with that,” Postovit said.
Most folks visiting the park have no difficulty getting around. And that includes Bill Holder.