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Sun River, Montana farmer coaching world-champ robotics team after almost dying – Benefit planned

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Sun River robotics

In May 2018, Sun River farmer and robotics team coach Chuck Merja suffered a devastating accident.

Merja was driving a sprayer when he realized it was overheating. After getting out to investigate, disaster struck. “The bottom radiator hose blew off of a pipe it was connected to and soaked me with super-heated ethylene glycol,” he remembered.

220 degrees burned across more than 20% of his body. Luckily, he was able to find his phone to call his wife and 911.

“I told my wife that she should find me, I was going to be OK, but it wasn’t going to be pretty,” said Merja. His brother was the first to arrive on the scene, pouring water on him to reduce further burning.


To help with the Merja family’s outstanding medical expense, benefit will be held April 28 at the Black Eagle Community Center. There will be auction items, and the robotics team will be doing demonstrations.


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