Rider suffers huge trauma to his chest following championship speedway crash

·2-min read
A rider at yesterday evening's (Thursday) British championship race was airlifted to hospital after a crash.
A rider at yesterday evening's (Thursday) British championship race was airlifted to hospital after a crash.

THE NORA British Upright Speedway Championship, staged at Smallbrook Stadium in Ryde last Thursday (August 11), was abandoned after only six completed races following a collision between two riders.

The crash took place at 7.37pm, at the exit of the second bend on the first lap of heat seven, as Chris Mackett and Tim Curnock accidentally touched.

Both riders and their machines were thrown yards along the circuit, also demolishing a stretch of trackside fencing.

The on-site paramedic team were immediately on hand to attend to the casualties.
After treatment, Tim was able to slowly walk back to the pits, clearly battered and bruised.

Sadly, Chris was not so lucky.

With ambulance teams and the on-call doctor called to the scene, medics felt that, given the riders' condition, it was appropriate to request the Thames Valley Air Ambulance.

He was transferred to Southampton General Hospital 25 minutes later and with considerable damage to parts of the safety fence, the decision to abandon the meeting was taken shortly before 9pm.

Mackett sustained a huge trauma to his chest, which resulted in broken ribs, breastbone and backbone.

On Saturday (August 13), due to the pain of the chest injuries, he was moved into intensive care so his breathing can be supported by an oxygen mask. Once his breathing has stabilised, Chris will have surgery on his vertebrae.

His family said: “We would like to thank all of the medical staff at the track, the air ambulance crew and all of his friends and supporters who rushed to help.”

Barry Bishop, co-promoter and commercial director of Wightlink Warriors & Wizards, advised that patrons wishing to apply for a refund of their admission cost should email the club at speedwayontheisland@yahoo.co.uk.

Supporters who paid for entry to the meeting will also be allowed free admission to either of next week's two meetings on production of their tickets.

Barry said: "Firstly my thoughts and everyone else's thoughts are with Chris Mackett after his fall.

"I want to thank the medical teams from across the south, our volunteer team, riders, sponsors and you, the fans.

"When things happen like this, it hurts, really hurts.

"As much as I love what we do, it's a tough thing for me. And even though I have been there sprawled eagle on the Smallbrook shale myself as a racer, it's a different feeling when it's someone else you respect and work closely with.

"It's now time to gather our thoughts, wish Chris a speedy recovery and determine the future."

The other rider involved in the crash, Tim Curnock, did not require hospital treatment.