Written by Lyle Ahrens, Posted: Sat, September 8 2012 at 7:20 PM, Updated: Sat, September 8 2012 at 7:31 PM
A soldier from Klamath Falls who was injured by a roadside bomb in Afganistan spoke with KOBI 5 this afternoon.
20 year old Eric Clark is a 2010 graduate of Klamath Union High School.
Clark was on patrol with a mine detector August 23rd when he triggered a roadside bomb.
"It was a pressure-plate I.E.D. - victim-operated, and I guess it had a very low metal content, so the metal detector didn't pick it up - and next you know, I was flying - I was flying through the air, and then landed. And instantly knew that I had stepped on an I.E.D."
"He'd lost his left leg below the knee, two of his fingers, his right one, his pinky, and his pointer - half of his little finger, half of his thumb, and I think they've fused his ring finger."
Eric Clark is being treated at Walter Reed Military Medical Center.
While he has plenty of surgeries and rehab ahead, Clark says he hopes to be home by Christmas.
You can also send cards and letters directly to Eric Clark at Walter Reed Medical Center, at the address shown on your screen.
KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970's. He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.
Lyle's job history is quite colorful. He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand. A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90's as a news writer and commercial producer. In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.
Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience. "The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain. Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story".
When he's not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.