A California trail runner became dangerously stoked Tuesday and was rushed to a hospital, where he remains stable but unresponsive.
William S. Preston, 33, apparently was finishing a tweet when the incident happened:
An avid trail runner, Preston is also a brand ambassador for MegaFuel nutri-pellets; Crystal Bandz “performance bracelets”; and Scree Peak, a gear and apparel company.
Friends said Preston had been stoked about a number of events over the past several days, and suggested that the sheer amount of stokage was simply too much for him to process.
“On Saturday, he got a MegaFuel package in the mail,” said Theodore Logan, a friend and training partner. “It was their new flavor, Açaí Beet Blast, and he got it before it was even available to the public. So he was very stoked about that.”
In the days that followed, Logan said, Preston also bought tickets to see Free Solo, the movie about the rock climber Alex Honnold; found a $20 bill while walking his dog; bought a pair of trail shoes; and got a new tattoo.
In each of those instances, Preston’s social media accounts show, he was stoked.
When he learned he’d been accepted into the popular Wyld Stallyn 100K trail race, Preston’s stoke levels apparently went from high to toxic.
“I knew something was wrong because his Wyld Stallyn tweet ended mid-hashtag,” said Logan, referring to Preston’s final hashtag, #stok. “I guess he managed to hit the TWEET button before he lost consciousness.”
Logan went quiet, fighting back tears.
“He just wanted so bad to tell the world how stoked he was.”
EMTs responded within minutes and took him to nearby San Dimas Health Center, but doctors there quickly determined Preston needed more specialized care.
“Once our physicians stabilized him,” said a San Dimas spokesperson, “Mr. Preston was airlifted to St. Rufus Hospital in Los Angeles, which has a world-class Stoke Management team.”
Staff at St. Rufus, citing patient privacy, said they could not comment on Preston’s case except to say that he is “a lucky dude” and that doctors are monitoring him closely.
A St. Rufus doctor, speaking anonymously, did offer a bit of advice.
“Being stoked is terrific,” she said. “But, like with anything, too much can be bogus.”
“Just please be careful.”