61 – A tow ball 4WD death in Arizona – Lessons for all 4WD drivers

Ryan Woods died in tragic circumstances while 4 wheel driving in Arizona last week, when he was hit the head buy a tow ball and drop hitch following a snatch recovery attempt..  This podcast looks are the what happened and where it all went wrong.

This is a tragedy that I think could have happened to many of us.  A vehicle stuck, keen to get home, not having the correct recovery gear, a little lack of knowledge and a bit of bad luck and it ends in tragedy.  Particularly horrific as his family were in the car when it happened.  I think this is the nightname scenario, so please share this, and Matt and Robert’s videos so we can get the word out about how dangerous snatch recoveries are.

Here is the link to the original post on 4x4earth.  WARNING – graphic images.

Check out MaddMatt’s video.

Robert Pepper’s video looking at forces generated by these kinds of dynamic rescues.

We talk to Matt from MadMatt 4WD about what happened and what lessons we can all learn.

Thoughts and condolences with Ryan’s family and his mate who was trying to help and the emergency responders who attended.  

Thanks to Matt from MadMatt 4WD for sharing his wisdom on this.

arizona tall ball death 4x4

The recent tow ball death of Ryan Woods highlights the risks involved when conducting a snatch recovery. This photo illustrates a couple of things – the mud hole doesn’t look that bad, something that most people what try out, I think. However, the Ford Super Duty gets pretty stuck. Secondly, the violent force generated by the tow ball and drop hitch once it broke.


Please spread the word so we can decrease the number of tow ball deaths that occur when people go offroad.