After the crash early Saturday, Steven Fairbairn was airlifted about 70 miles (110 kilometers) from the grounds of the four-day festival in Saint Jo to a Fort Worth hospital, Montague County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Jack Lawson said.
Fairbairn died at the hospital around 10:35 a.m. Saturday of blunt force trauma to the head, according to the Tarrant County medical examiner's office. His death was ruled an accident. The 25-year-old grew up in Newcastle upon Tyne, his mother, Lynne Fairbairn, told the Associated Press. But he was living in Duncan, Oklahoma, working at a manufacturing company and was recently engaged to a local woman, according to her step-father, Jeffery Archer.
Fairbairn asked Abbey Green to marry him two weeks ago after buying a ring while visiting his family back in England, Archer said. Green said, "yes." Deputies are investigating the deadly crash, which Lawson said happened on a wide dirt road on the event's expansive private campus in the small town near the Oklahoma state line. He did not provide further details on the incident.
Archer said his family and the Fairbairns are desperate to know what happened, but have heard next to nothing from law enforcement and the organizers of Rednecks with Paychecks. "We need somebody to come forward and tell us what has happened, because we really don't know," Lynne Fairbairn told WFAA television .
Staff of Rednecks with Paychecks have not responded to a phone message from The Associated Press seeking comment. Lawson said the group's owner, Derrick Morse, has been cooperating with the investigation.
On Facebook, organizers of Rednecks with Paychecks describe last week's event as "four days and nights of mud, rocks, music, camping, and friends." The group's promotional material features scantily clad women gyrating and bearded men maneuvering ATVs through deep mud as American and Confederate flags wave in the background.
It states that only people 18 and older can attend, and that everyone must sign a waiver before arrival. Deaths have been reported at the events in previous years. Green told WFAA that the documents amount to "signing your life away" and that the off-road event needs to be shut down.
She and Fairbairn met at a restaurant where Green was working, Archer said, and connected after noticing they had similar tattoos When they got word of the crash, Archer said his family rushed to the Fort Worth hospital where a doctor told them that Fairbairn was brain dead. Hospital staff kept the young man on life support until his family could arrive from England to say goodbye, he said.
Fairbairn's organs were donated after his death, according to Archer.