In early 2005 the Beard family traveled to Thailand to attend a conference.
During that trip, Colin’s father, Michael, took Colin for a short ride on a scooter they had rented for the week. Colin, who was about six years old at the time, was riding on the back of the scooter when his foot slipped off the foot peg and into the back wheel. The wheel jerked his shoe off and pulled his foot in, wedging it between the wheel and the red hot muffler. Michael pulled over immediately and tried to release his son's foot. Thankfully, a number of Thai people came by with tools and started taking the muffler apart. It took almost five minutes to free his son's foot. Colin suffered 3rd and 4th degree burns to his leg and ankle. In some places, especially around his ankle, all of the flesh had been burned away, exposing his tendons and bones.