Last October, Kevin Reinert, a retired Air Force colonel, was severely injured when struck by a hit-and-run driver who had driven onto the Greensboro, N.C., club’s property while attempting to elude police. Seven months later, after Reinert had returned to finally finish his round, he praised his Starmount Forest “family” for helping to save his life and provide needed support during his recovery.
It took Kevin Reinert seven months to completely wake up from a bad dream, the Greensboro (N.C.) News & Record reported.
But in the pouring rain on May 5th, the News & Record reported, Reinert, 61, was finally able to bring some closure to the event that changed his life, when he finished a round of golf at Starmount Forest Country Club in Greensboro, N.C. that was brought to an abrupt and terrifying end after he reached the 18th hole at Starmount Forest on a sunny day last October.
Reinert, a retired Air Force colonel, had stopped during his round in October before playing the 18th to check his e-mail, the News & Record reported, when a speeding Kia Rio swerved off the cart path and barreled towards him. Reinert tried to jump out of the way at the last minute, but the car slammed into him and sent him flying. He landed 30 feet from where he was struck, and the car kept going.
Reinert, who was playing alone, knew he was severely injured and screamed for help, the News & Record reported. Fortunately, a man napping in a house on the edge of the golf course had awakened in time to see him get hit and had already called 911. And a group of Starmount employees had also seen the car careening down the path and had jumped in a golf cart to follow.
“People accidentally drive onto the golf course all the time,” Kevin Fuller, an Assistant Golf Professional at Starmount Forest, explained to the News & Observer. “But I noticed this vehicle had mirrors hanging down on both sides of the car, [so] I followed it.”
And when it was clear that Reinert would needed to be transported to emergency medical workers who would not be able to come down the cart path in an ambulance, Starmount employees found a flatbed golf cart to carry him to the EMTs when they arrived.
That helped Reinert get the care he needed more quickly, the News & Observer reported, for injuries that included a broken femur and two broken kneecaps, several torn ligaments and a detached tendon in his ankle.
And the attention that the club staff gave to Reinert after the incident has continued to help his recovery, he told the News & Observer.
“These folks here at Starmount Forest Country Club have become more than friends, they’ve become like family,” Reinert said. “They’ve been so supportive — the visits, the gifts, the notes, the dinners — you couldn’t ask for more support than what I’ve had.”
Police eventually apprehended Isaiah Fox, the News & Observer reported, who hit Reinert as he fled from what was described as a crosstown crime spree. He is now accused of trying to steal $900 worth of Michael Kors purses and assaulting a store guard at a T.J. Maxx store before leading police on a chase across Greensboro that resulted in nine crime scenes and left numerous other victims in addition to Reinert.
Fox has told a judge that he was under the influence of drugs at the time, the News & Record reported, which is whyReinert believes Fox “left him for dead [and] kept driving.”
And while Reinert has recovered enough to get out on the golf course again, the News & Record reported, some of the emotional and physical injuries that he suffered on the day he started his round have yet to fully heal.
He continues physical therapy, suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, has endured four surgeries and now worries about how much of his pain is permanent, the News & Record reported, and how he will function without the prescribed pain medication he has used for the past seven months.
In addition, Fox wasn’t insured, so Reinert’s medical expenses were paid out of his own benefits. He’s also lost income as a speaker and recruiter due to his injuries, and can no longer officiate high-school and college lacrosse games.
“That hurts,” Reinert told the News & Record. “I’ve done some evaluating of officials from the grandstands, I’ve gone to a couple of games, and it hurts me emotionally to walk across that field knowing that I could be out there being the official, and it doesn’t appear I’ll ever be able to do that again.
Still, Reinert’s been trying to get past his anger toward Fox, the News & Record reported. “I try not to think about him,” Reinert said. “I go through counseling and try to channel my energy into more positive things.”
And one such positive accomplishment was returning to Starmount Forest to golf again, as Reinert did again on May 5th, this time accompanied by his son, Air Force Capt. Philip Reinert, his attorney, Richard Gabriel, and another Assistant Golf Professional at Starmount Forest, Savio Nazareth. When the fore some got to the 18th hole, the News & Observer reported, 40 members of the club and a few additional family members were on hand to cheer them on, despite the bad weather.
“The four of us going out there together to have the support and friendship will be a fantastic feeling,” Reinert told the News & Observer before finishing his long-delayed round. Because he is still recovering, he knew playing would still involve some pain, but he was determined to finish and then move inside to the clubhouse for a celebration of that important step in his recovery.
“Mr. Fox didn’t stop me,” Reinert told the News & Observer. “He may have delayed me, but I’m going to finish this 18th hole and then there will be a new beginning. It will mean to me that I have overcome and I can’t be beaten.
“I was always taught to finish what you start,” Reinert added. “Finishing the 18th hole will give me closure.”
Soon after the incident, the News & Observer reported, Golf Digest named Reinert “the unluckiest golfer” in a slightly satirical article. The words stung. Reinert had always wanted to see his name in the magazine, but not for before being hit by a car on a golf course. And while the story itself might make some people laugh, to Reinert it certainly hasn’t been funny.
In June, the News & Observer reported, Reinert and his wife Jean plan to take a 16-day trip to Hawaii, and they have also booked a European cruise. He also reads inspirational books and finds inspiration from his upbringing and time in the military.