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Auburn runner recovering after losing leg in crash

After seven surgeries and intensive rehab, Tyrone Fulgham is training to run races again.

AUBURN, Maine — Tyrone Fulgham was close to death after being hit by a motorcycle while running in Auburn in September 2021. Despite losing his right leg, the father of three was able to direct bystanders to stop the bleeding before help arrived. 

After more than half a dozen surgeries and six months of intensive rehab, the Auburn resident started training to run competitively again, with dreams of entering the Boston Marathon in the future. 

Fulgham was training for a marathon along South Witham Road in Auburn when his life flashed before his eyes.

"I was cresting the hill. I see the motorcycle, see his face. He dumps the bike," Tyrone said. That motorcycle collided with Tyrone, who didn't have time to dodge.

"I am laying sideways. I look down and see my leg is gone, and I see blood streaming out," Fulgham explained.

Despite losing blood quickly, Fulgham was able to tell the motorcyclist, who was unhurt, to call 911. The crash happened near the Fox Ridge Golf Club. Fulgham asked a golfer who rushed to help for a belt to use a tourniquet.

"I had lost nearly half my blood volume by the time he got there. Had he not been there to slow it down for the first few minutes, I would have been gone," Tyrone said.

Despite the shock, pain, and blood loss, this father focused on surviving for his family and three children. The lifelong runner promised paramedics working to save his life that he would be back on the road again.

"They obviously gave me pain medication, and I was talking to them about running again," Fulgham said.

Fulgham also suffered injuries to his left leg. His ankle was shattered in different places. He endured seven surgeries and infections. He was able to put weight on his left leg in December 2021 and was fitted for a prosthetic leg in January. He had to learn how to walk again and endure numbing pain.

He undergoes hours of physical and occupational therapy every week. Occupational therapist Katie McAuliffe of Rehab Without Walls said Fulgham had made incredible progress with walking, endurance, and living skills. He is also driving a modified car.

"It's so amazing seeing his journey and just the work he has put in," McAuliffe explained.

The man who crashed into Tyrone has been identified as Mason Perez. The 28-year-old was indicted on one count of driving to endanger resulting in serious injury, a felony. 

He was also charged with operating a motor vehicle beyond class restriction. Police said he was speeding at the time and lost control of the motorcycle. Perez was involved in another crash, which left him paralyzed from the waist down.

"If he asks for forgiveness, I would give it to him, but I don't think he has any real remorse," Fulgham said.

The community is also rallying around Fulgham, raising money for medical bills and other expenses. A GoFundMe has raised more than 30-thousand dollars. A comedy fundraiser is set for May 7 at the Lost Valley ski area. 

Don Olivier, who has helped raise funds, has been friends with Fulgham since middle school.

"He would do this type of thing for me or anyone else," Olivier added.

Fulgham is now focusing on building up stamina to hit the road again. He ran his first lap on a c-blade and hopes to run a 5k this summer with his son, Kyle Fulgham.

"He was already my hero before. Everybody loves him, and he is inspiring people in a different way," Kyle Fulgham explained. 

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