A bizarre weekend supercross accident appeared as though it’d produce tragic consequences for riders Trey Canard and Ryan Morais. But while both athletes suffered multiple broken vertebrae and other serious injuries, both also are expected to fully recover, which is considered miraculous by those who witnessed the unusual collision.
It occurred during the first lap of the main event at an AMA Supercross Series race in Los Angeles. Canard was slowed while entering a series of three jumps by a strip of sponsor-signage that somehow tore loose from a foam safety block and became stuck in his rear wheel. Morais had soared high off the first jump and was helpless to avoid landing directly on top of Canard. Both slammed to the ground and were struck by a third rider, Weston Peike. (See accompanying photo and video.)
Said Chris Denison, editor of Dirt Rider magazine: “I would say that from a spectator’s point of view, this one ranks as one of the worst I’ve seen in racing. But it was nobody’s fault. Trey had even ridden off to the side to try to get out of the way, and Ryan, once he was over the jump, essentially had no place else to go.”
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Canard, 21, enjoyed “100% feeling in his legs,” according to a statement on his website. He was scheduled to have surgery this week to reduce “small pressure on the [spinal] cord,” according to an update tweeted Tuesday afternoon by his brother, Aaron.
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Morais, 28, was said to have also suffered a collapsed lung, broken ribs and a broken jaw. He’ll have surgery to align his jaws and to wire his mouth shut for eight weeks. But the Yamaha rider’s team reported that there is no sign of spinal cord damage and that “a full recovery is anticipated.”
Morais’ wife Hannah apparently was in good spirits Tuesday, when she tweeted: “Ryan is much more alert and oriented today! He’s no longer asking the same 4 questions!”
Supercross is a stadium version of the outdoor sport of motocross. It’s extremely dangerous because athletes race on a tight course at high speeds in very close quarters. Foam safety bales line the course and are adorned with sponsor signage. Canard was unfortunate to have snagged a strip that, ironically, was advertising his sponsor.
Of the accident Scott Hoffman, in a Motocross.com column, wrote: “I swear at the point of impact it sounded as if I heard the impact on his helmet–unfortunately I was that close. Right after the crash the officials were telling us not to shoot photos and moved us out of the area–that made my stomach sink once more as I thought of the worst case scenario.”
Australia’s Chad Reed won the Los Angeles race.
– Top image courtesy of Frank Hoppen, via Dirt Rider
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