It was supposed to be a relaxing week spent outdoors with family and friends, enjoying the sounds of Texas music. But a relaxing getaway turned into a nightmare when a fight left one man severely injured at Larry Joe Taylor’s Texas Music Festival April 23.
James Harrell Lamance, Jr., 36, of Boyd, was airlifted to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth after sustaining severe head injuries during a fight at the week-long event.
Today, Lamance is out of the hospital and on the road to recovery.
“I’m fantastic,” Lamance said. “But it could have been worse. I’m alive and talking.”
Lamance was released from the hospital after several days, but his recovery is far from over. He has spent countless hours visiting with doctors, evaluating his injuries and discussing surgeries, but he still doesn’t remember much about the fight.
“I had a bunch of friends down there and we were walking by the stage and that’s the last thing I remember until I was strapped to the backboard,” Lamance said.
His sister later told him that she saw three people kicking him in the head.
The assault left Lamance with a broken left eye socket and orbital bones, broken nasal and sinus passages and his top jaw broken in three places.
“I’ve been going to Larry Joe Taylor for about five years,” Lamance said. “It used to be fun.”
Mario Vara, 25, of Walnut Springs, has been charged in the assault. He was released from the Erath County Jail after posting a $3,000 bond.
The Walnut Springs resident has a lengthy criminal history including a 2003 conviction for assault causing bodily injury in Meridian and two convictions for driving while intoxicated.
Lamance admits that he, like many others at the music fest, was drinking the day of the assault.
“I was drinking, I’m not going to lie,” Lamance said. “But I wasn’t drunk enough to deserve what happened to me.”
Lamance said he is preparing to meet with more surgeons and hopes to undergo surgery when the swelling decreases.
“I’ll be glad when all this is over and I can see through both eyes again,” Lamance said.