May 9th, 2008, 1:54 PM
Written by Joe Wagner & Cary McCrystal, Contributor: Ray Matilsky
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday May 2nd, 2008 at 3:15 PM, John Michael Wagner of San Diego, California, known as "Wedge" to surfers was surfing an island break 20 miles off the coast of Ventura County, California, when he suffered a fatal neck injury after being launched out the back end of a wave and came down into shallow water. Wagner was found floating face down some ten minutes later, by his friend Joey. His color was good. The next friend to arrive was Nate, paddling to him on a kayak. Nate, a doctor, commenced CPR immediately. John's best friend Cary quickly brought the boat near the scene and John was placed on board where extraordinary measures were taken to save his life. Within minutes an EMT named Duke, that just happened to be in the area, jumped on board and took control along with the doctor. CPR was performed for about 75 minutes and IVs were put in. During that time a fishing boat the Truth provided an oxygen tank and oxygen was given to Wagner. These extraordinary measures were taken by friends to try and save his life but these attempts were futile as John had crushed four vertebrate in his neck on impact and most likely passed away almost immediately. He will be deeply missed by family and friends. He is survived by his wife Cyndi and children Jack, 7; Sadie, 5; and Jason 2.
May 9, 2008 — An update on the sad death of John Wagner in early May.Wagner died while surfing the Santa Cruz Islands off of Ventura, Ca.
According to an anonymous source close to the Wagner family we’ve learned that four vertebrae were crushed in Wagner’s neck. According to the source, at the end of a great day of surfing Wagner went back for one more ride. The wave he caught ‘he rode with obvious pleasure.’ Somehow Wagner was thrown from the wave and hit his head, possibly on a submerged rock.
All of the surfers at the scene came to the aid of Wagner, who was unconscious. Their repeated attempts to resuscitate Wagner failed.
A memorial celebration for John Wagner with a “paddle out” is planned for May 17 in San Diego (at a place yet to be determined) from 4-7 pm and the “paddle out” at 7:30 pm.
A fund in John’s name has been established for his children. Donations can be sent to:
John M Wagner Memorial Fund
c/o Erin Ellis
4141 Jutland Drive
San Diego, CA 92117
We’ll update the story as more information becomes available.