Payson Representative Bucked Off Horse; Ready To Return From Hospital


District 4 Representative Jake Flake is expected to be released from the hospital today (Tuesday) where he was being treated for injuries he suffered Saturday when he was thrown from a horse at his ranch near Snowflake.

Flake, who represents Payson, Pinetop, St. Johns and Snowflake, suffered a broken shoulder, three broken ribs and a punctured lung.

"I'm sore all over, but I just got word I can go home," Flake said from his hospital room at Navapache Communities Hospital.

A cowboy and rancher, Flake, 65, was evacuated by helicopter because of rough terrain and fear of a possible back injury. He was dismounting to open a gate when something spooked his horse.

"There's a power line right over the gate that runs to your neck of the country," Flake said, "and sometimes you get static electricity from it. I put my hand on his mane to climb off, and maybe I shocked him.

"I was just caught in a really vulnerable position, standing in the stirrup and leaning over the horn," he said. "I was catapulted right over him and turned a flip before I landed on some rocky ground."

The Republican legislator plans to rest at home for a few days before returning to the campaign trail.

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