How Dino went down
An update on Thursday's DISC, not such a good night for Dino
As a few readers of the aboc site know, a few weeks ago Dino Apolito had a crash in a motorpace and got a bit of concussion etc, and just got back onto DISC to race two weeks ago. Last night was his second night back after that crash. He's written about it in his blog here.
So what happened last night?
Dino got to DISC a little earlier than me, and was warming up on the track when I got there. I got sorted and we did a few efforts together to get ready for the nights' racing. We went high up the bank and Dino reported that he was feeling better than last week about it, and feeling strong in the legs.
After a few more efforts we were just pootling around the track keeping warm on the black line at around 30km/h or so, Dino was sucking my wheel when a rider who was up above us on the blue line (I only saw this out of peripheral vision) slipped off the bank (bad tyres? Too slow?), slipped down into me, bounced off me, and swept Dino's bike out from under him. I didn't actually see the crash itself, it was all right behind me, but I heard it, felt it and I heard Dino hit the boards.
Being a track bike there was no way I could stop and turn around immediatly, so I completed my lap and pulled up and saw Dino lying flat on his back and in considerable distress. A couple of officials were milling around, I asked them to call an ambulance once we'd determined that this wasn't a quick tumble, Dino had clearly been hurt pretty badly. A few of us with first aid tickets got Dino as comfortable as we could, and then a doctor who was there helped out so we handed over to him, and got Dino's kit all sorted out. I called Rich who came and picked up Dino's bike and pump, and we basically waited for the ambos to arrive and tried to keep Dino as comfortable as we could. He had a reasonably normal pulse, no obvious neck or collarbone injury, no damage to his helmet etc, but his ribs on his right side were very tender - at least bruised. I called Ann (Dino's wife) and let her know.
The ambos arrived after about 10 minutes, and took over, gave Dino the anasthetic straw and then some morphine (no more racing tonight Dino, that's on the banned list!). We organised to get his clothes etc sorted, one of the ambos took his bag and the ambo's oxy cviva kit away, and just after he'd left Dino's condition worsened, he started to have breathing difficulties. One of the club officials ran off after the other ambo to get him to come back with the oxyviva. While this was happening the other ambo had to cut Dino's jersey, knicks and undershirt (but we salvaged his Polar HRM !) to get to his chest to check for bubbles. None evident, but Dino will need a new jersey and knicks (again!). I think aboc will give him a new jersey as a get well present. He got back, and they put an O2 mask on and more morphine to stabilise Dino's pain. Then we popped him on a sled, and then the ambos organised their stretcher. We called Ann again and told her Dino was going to the Austin (by co-incidence, Dino used to work there!), then the ambos took him away.
Discussing the crash with a few other people who saw it, it seems that Dino landed ribs-first on the top tube or stem of the other bike, basically spearing himself. It was the most rotten, awful luck for this to happen. There was just nothing we could have done. Many crashes can be avoided and learned from, but this was a real 'struck by lightening' incident.
The rest of the night was pretty subdued, I raced as the only aboc rider there, doing a slingshot for a young lad in the scratch race but unable to hold the wheel of the motorbike in the motorpace in the last lap. Embarrasing! The program was shortened as Dino's crash blocked the track for about 45 minutes, so no points races for the night. Dino sent me an SMS message at about 1am with an update, he has, at this time, two broken ribs and a punctured lung. Not much fun at all, I've had broken ribs before and they're a uniquely painful experience.
I'll keep everyone informed as to Dino's progress as soon as I know any more.