John Nathan Adams, the training and life coach and one of three SUV passengers who survived a horrific, fiery multiple-vehicle crash just south of Bishop on Aug. 9, died early Saturday morning, Oct. 9, at Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno, Nev. His passing came two months to the day of the crash that claimed two other lives in the SUV in which he was riding, as well as the life of another person in a passenger van that was also involved in the collision.
Adams, who lived in the San Diego area, was well known to many in Mammoth’s running and sports community. Mammoth locals Stu and Julie Brown were the last in town to see Adams and the four athletes traveling in the SUV prior to the accident. He was reportedly 39 at the time of the accident.
Adams passed away at 2:34 a.m. surrounded family and friends, including Julie Brown, who traveled to Reno on Friday to be with and support the family.
Doctors had kept Adams in a state of induced coma, never bringing him to full consciousness, in order to help him heal. He made considerable strides, given the severity of his injuries, which included punctured lungs, broken ribs and facial injuries. His breathing had improved and he recently began to “push back” when tested for pain response. Early hopes were that, since he appeared to have sustained no brain stem or spinal injuries, that he would be able to recover from his brain injuries as well, but Adams showed little or no progress during the past 8 weeks. A Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan of his brain last week apparently revealed extensive damage over large areas. Several concurring opinions from doctors across the country all agreed the prognosis was poor.
While Adams’ body fought and indeed recovered from several injuries that on their own would have each been life threatening, the family reportedly came to the conclusion that the damage to his brain was far too extensive to overcome, and made the painful decision to disconnect him from his support systems.
The Browns said there are plans to look into purchasing and placing a John Adams commemorative structure in Mammoth Lakes, and discussing ideas for an annual race in his honor with High Sierra Tri’s Alana Levin, another local who knew and was very fond of Adams.
Details on arrangements for services or other memorials are forthcoming.