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Auto technician back on the job

Paul Bickford
Northern News Services
Published Monday, November 10, 2008

THEBACHA/FORT SMITH - A motorcycle accident has not kept Brett Clarke from the job he loves.

In early June, the Fort Smith automotive technician was seriously injured when a tire blew out on the motorcycle he was riding on Highway 5.

NNSL Photo/Graphic

Brett Clarke has not let a motorcycle accident slow him down at his business, Mobile Tech Automotive and Small Engines. - Paul Bickford/NNSL photo

Clarke spent almost three weeks in an Edmonton hospital recovering from his injuries.

The 26-year-old was back at his business - Mobile Tech Automotive and Small Engines - the day after he returned to Fort Smith from hospital.

Even so, he said he just went in to check out the business he owns and operates.

It was not until Sept. 9 that Mobile Tech officially reopened.

Clarke recalled he was eager to get back to work after the accident and he couldn't stand just sitting around.

"It doesn't get anything done," he said. "It bugs me."

Clarke said some people were surprised he was back to work so soon after the accident.

"The people who know me, well, they weren't surprised," he said.

Members of his family heal really quickly, he said, adding his grandfather survived when a bomb exploded near him during the Second World War.

Clarke said he clearly recalls the accident on Highway 5, about five kilometres north of Angus Tower.

"I remember the blowout," he said, remembering he hit the highway at 100 kilometres per hour.

The highway was closed for two hours while emergency personnel responded to the scene.

Clarke was airlifted by helicopter to hospital in Yellowknife and then medevaced to Edmonton.

At the time of the accident, he was returning home from a trip to Saskatoon.

The motorcyclist suffered facial lacerations, a broken jaw, a broken wrist, a cracked skull and temporary memory loss.

Clarke said he has had no hesitation working on motorcycles since the accident, adding his first job on a bike was repairing a Vespa motor scooter.

"That was the first I rode, because that was the first job that came up," he said.

After that, he worked on a dirt bike, he said. "It was fun."

Clarke, who is originally from Hay River, has owned and operated Mobile Tech since 2002.

At his business he also works on cars, trucks, ATVs, snowmobiles, chainsaws and boats.

"I love mechanics," he said. "I don't do it for the money. I do it for the enjoyment of it."

Clarke originally came to Fort Smith to study heavy duty mechanics at Aurora College, and ended up working as an automotive technician at a local business.

Later, he went on to study for his career at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology in Edmonton before eventually returning to Fort Smith.

"I love fixing things," Clarke said. "This is what I love to do."