Four Western New York natives are hoping to get up off the mat after a serious crash in Batavia Sunday morning.
Independent pro-wrestlers, also known as the ‘Buffalo Brothers,’ Nick Pufpaff, Kevin Bennett, Danny Garcia and Kevin Lockwood were on their way back from a wrestling show in Montreal when their car slid across black ice.
“I woke up to the car spinning and spinning and I kind of thought we were just going to stop or maybe like bump into something, but we slammed into the guardrail ,” said Garcia, pro-wrestler and student at Buffalo State College.
The wrestlers said their car was almost sliced in half.
“I’m like panicking, I find my phone, I call my mom and I’m trying to just get out of the car because I can hear Lockwood screaming. At the time, I thought my best friend was dead,” said Pufpaff, pro-wrestler.
Pufpaff and Bennett were transported to a medical center in Batavia with minor injuries. Lockwood and Garcia were seriously injured and remain at ECMC.
“I received surgery on a broken ankle on the right, I have a break below my knee, a minor fracture in my skull. We’re all incredibly lucky to be alive,” said Lockwood, pro-wrestler and tattoo artist at Arboreal Ink in Buffalo.
One day after the crash, more than 450 people had already donated more than $20,000 to the Buffalo Brothers through a GoFundMe page.
“I can’t put into words how thankful we all are, how amazing everyone has been, the outpouring of love,” said Pufpaff.
“I’ve lived in Buffalo my whole life and I always say it’s different than any other city that I’ve been, people are so kind,” said Garcia.
The Buffalo Brothers say, despite their injuries, they’re determined to get back in the ring.
“It never crossed by mind once during this that any of us were not going to go back to wrestling. Without a doubt, these are the strongest people I know in my life,” said Pufpaff.
“Expect big things,” said Lockwood.