TAMPA, Fla. (Reuters) - A serious snowmobile accident involving Sarah Palin’s husband forced the former vice presidential nominee to curtail a Florida campaign trip on Monday for Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump.
Todd Palin was in intensive care at an Alaska hospital after the accident on Sunday, an aide to the former Alaska governor said, adding she had been on the phone with doctors and family members all morning.
Palin, who has endorsed Trump, had been scheduled to campaign for him later on Monday in The Villages, Florida.
Florida is one of five states holding nominating contests on Tuesday for the Nov. 8 election.
Trump campaign officials said Palin was returning to Alaska to be with her husband. They said they looked forward to her being back on the campaign trail soon and that Trump’s thoughts and prayers were with the Palin family.
Before being able to catch a flight to Alaska, Palin stopped at a town hall-style event for Trump in Tampa, telling the crowd: “Thank you guys for your prayers for my husband who is recovering right now in ICU after a little wreck on a snow machine.”
Trump, taking the stage after Palin, said: “Her husband is a tough cookie but when you’re too tough, you break ribs every once in a while.”
Palin, Republican Senator John McCain’s running-mate in the 2008 presidential election won by Democrat Barack Obama, held a separate campaign rally for Trump in Florida on Sunday.
Todd Palin, 51, is a veteran participant in Alaska’s 2,000-mile (3,200-km) Iron Dog race involving snowmobiles that takes place each February, according to the race’s website. The contest features about 40 two-man teams. Palin has been on a winning tandem three times, most recently in 2007, race organizers said.
While competing in 2008, Palin was injured when his vehicle struck a snow-hidden barrel and he was thrown some 70 feet (20 meters), the Alaska Dispatch News reported, adding he was not seriously injured.
Additional reporting by Steve Quinn in Juneau, Alaska, and Mohammad Zargham in Washington; Writing by Eric M. Johnson; Editing by Sharon Bernstein and Peter Cooney
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