Tyler Tingle's racing has taken him all over Canada and the United States, but he spent most of his time racing in Ashcroft.
Three weeks before his 20th birthday, Tyler got in a car with three other friends. Everyone was heavily intoxicated — including the driver.
It was a decision that changed his life forever. At just 19-years-old, he had suffered a spinal cord injury that would leave him in a wheelchair for the rest of his life.
He can still recall the details of the accident. He remembers exactly how he felt when he woke up in a hospital bed realizing he couldn’t move. He remembers being told his best friend—who was the driver—had been killed.
“We made stupid choices that got ourselves into that situation. And the way it affected my family and my friends... that was the hardest thing for me to deal with,” he says.
Despite having to use a wheelchair, Tingle doesn’t let his disability define him or prevent him from doing what he loves. He considers himself lucky to be to have survived the crash and shares his story with others to help prevent other accidents from taking place.
After his accident, Tingle began to adjust to life in a wheelchair and found a passion through racing. He took part in the drag races at the Ashcroft track for more than 20 years before it closed in 2015.
Now, he spends his days altering all sorts of vehicles from cars to snowmobiles to either or race or just for pleasure. He’s currently doing some work on his Spyder, something he is able to ride as a paraplegic. He modifies the foot brakes into hand controls and is also adding a wheelchair rack.
Tingle also transforms snowmobiles into sleds you can race on asphalt. He does this by replacing the original tracks with a smooth track suitable for racing on pavement.
He began racing sleds and altering them himself so he could go faster. The engine on the last sled he raced had 650-horsepower.
Image credit: Photo by Author