Getting Home from Westercon

Four fans who survived the auto wreck that claimed Bert Carlson’s life planned to fly home after Westercon.

During the weekend, Deb Geisler posted this update and call for action:

There were four other fans with her — three were treated and released from the hospital; a fourth suffered major trauma to his hands and had surgery to reconnect fingers on one hand. Now there are four fans at Westercon who need to get home, and there is a quiet campaign (just made a bit louder by me) to help collect donations to cover their return flights.

Will Boyde purchased airline tickets for himself and the other three survivors so they could get home. Donations were requested at Westercon, online by Deb and through the Norwescon community (among others) to help Will defray the cost. Any excess funds received will be donated to Roberta Carlson’s family. Donations can be made through PayPal to: wboyde @

Roberta “Bert” Carlson Killed in Highway Fatality

Roberta “Bert” Carlson, a Washington state fan, died the morning of July 2 after a Saturn SUV she was driving overturned. Carlson and her four passengers were on their way to the Las Vegas Westercon. The rollover occurred between Ely and Wells on U.S. 93 in east-central Nevada, closing the highway for about three hours.

“Bert” Carlson, 43, of Bothell, WA was killed at around 5:45 a.m. after her SUV started to leave the roadway and she overcorrected, causing the vehicle to roll onto its roof. Three other occupants — Jon Foster, 37, from New Westminster, BC, William M. Boyde, 42, from Lynnwood, WA, and Heather M. Newman, 19, from Tacoma, WA — were transported to the Ely hospital with minor injuries. The fourth, Nick Navota, 28, from Port Orchard, Wash., suffered severe injuries to his left side and was flown to a Las Vegas hospital.

Everyone in the vehicle was wearing their seatbelt, said the Nevada Highway Patrol.

“Bert” Carlson was treasurer of the Seattle 2011 Worldcon bid, a Rustycon 26 Board Member, and a popular volunteer at Northwest science fiction conventions including OryCon.