Spectator injuries in moto?

Hammer 663s
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Forest Grove, OR US
6/7/2022 9:04am Edited Date/Time 6/8/2022 1:24pm
There was a nasty crash at the big step up on Oak Tree Hill at Hangtown during the first quals. Rider sent it and ended up too far right, went over the (small) berm, and through a chainlink gate. Snapped off an 8" fencepost and ripped some T stakes out. In the process he hit a spectator and did some major damage to the gentleman. Significant head injury, with one eyeball displaced. Very bad scene.

I don't recall a history of spectator injuries in moto. F1, Nascar, NHRA, rally, and other 4 wheel sports have their share of injuries and deaths among spectators off the track, but not moto. I remember way back a bike in the stands in SX, but that's it.

Was it common back in the day? We are farther from the track now than before, but there are plenty of places a bike can cartwheel into people when it goes wrong.

Some bad juju at Hangtown between this, the Gilbert crash, and Hampshire taking a marker through the ribs into his lung.

Hammer 663s
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RyanD797
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Shoreline, WA US
6/7/2022 9:43am
In 1992 at Loretta's, one of the 80cc motos there was a big crash along the tree line where a front wheel went through the wires of the fence and if I remember right broke a mother/grandmother's legs. She was sitting next to the fence in a lawn chair. Freak thing because the front tire went through wires horizontally.
1
SonofThor32
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Enumclaw, WA US
6/7/2022 10:02am
Washougal MX, circa 1991-1992 or so, there wasn't a finish flagger enclosure as there is now at the end of the whoops, a rider lost control in the whoops at an amateur race, and there was a young girl (as I remember it), that was flagging and was horribly injured, I recall she had to be airlifted, but do not recall the extent of her injuries.

Just like everything else in life, we learn and improve as the track did in that case. It is hard because we appreciate a sport that basically guarantees injuries and will always have safety risks for the riders and spectators/track workers. We have to accept it to some degree and learn.
1
731chopper
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DFW, TX US
6/7/2022 10:09am
I've seen a few incidents at local amateur races that ended in severe injury for a spectator, possibly even death in one a few years ago at a vintage race. Most all of them were freak accidents.

Whether we're racing, watching a race or just driving to the grocery store, most of us never know when we'll clock out. Enjoy your life while you can, my friends.
mx216
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Portland, OR US
6/7/2022 10:12am
Washougal MX, circa 1991-1992 or so, there wasn't a finish flagger enclosure as there is now at the end of the whoops, a rider lost control...
Washougal MX, circa 1991-1992 or so, there wasn't a finish flagger enclosure as there is now at the end of the whoops, a rider lost control in the whoops at an amateur race, and there was a young girl (as I remember it), that was flagging and was horribly injured, I recall she had to be airlifted, but do not recall the extent of her injuries.

Just like everything else in life, we learn and improve as the track did in that case. It is hard because we appreciate a sport that basically guarantees injuries and will always have safety risks for the riders and spectators/track workers. We have to accept it to some degree and learn.
That was Becky Eakin. Her family does the track for TNMX in Portland.
4

The Shop

SonofThor32
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Enumclaw, WA US
6/7/2022 10:14am
Washougal MX, circa 1991-1992 or so, there wasn't a finish flagger enclosure as there is now at the end of the whoops, a rider lost control...
Washougal MX, circa 1991-1992 or so, there wasn't a finish flagger enclosure as there is now at the end of the whoops, a rider lost control in the whoops at an amateur race, and there was a young girl (as I remember it), that was flagging and was horribly injured, I recall she had to be airlifted, but do not recall the extent of her injuries.

Just like everything else in life, we learn and improve as the track did in that case. It is hard because we appreciate a sport that basically guarantees injuries and will always have safety risks for the riders and spectators/track workers. We have to accept it to some degree and learn.
mx216 wrote:
That was Becky Eakin. Her family does the track for TNMX in Portland.
Thank you! I didn't know her name, I have a new appreciation for her FB posts now knowing who she is and what she went through (clearly still loves the sport!!).
3
Piston Slap
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Stillwater, OK US
6/7/2022 10:14am
Couple years ago, arenacrash in Guthroe OK, outside of OKC... great track, great viewing. Track runs alongside stands.... jumps,etc.
Bike whiskies and into stands. I believe only a broken arm. . .
1
Rickyisms
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FL US
6/7/2022 11:07am
We have a natural step up at one our harescramble properties that’s a staple in our series, the top is a plateau maybe 15-20 feet high, spectators stand on both sides.

Beginner class guy rolled the initial jump, and then going up the face of the landing whiskied his 450 into the crowd. I was about arm lengths away from the dude that took that MX33 to the face…

He initially just got sucker punched by the front wheel, but the force knocked him off his feet and onto the ground off the plateau. He was knocked silly for a few minutes and was decently gushing some blood out of his cranium until the race medics attended him. Never heard about it again but I hope the dude is good.
2
USA
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Richmond, TX US
6/7/2022 11:20am
They got the name murdercycles for a reason, not just scare tactics for mothers talking to their children.

Since the beginning of motorcycle races there were bad accidents that caused spectators to die. I think in 1912 a child was beheaded at one of these velodrome races.


3
DoctorJD
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Somewhere in..., GA US
6/7/2022 11:30am
Back in either 84' or 85' at the Six Flags of Georgia national, a spectator got clipped by (I think) David Bailey. My back was turned (looking at the other side of the track) when I heard the guys wife/girlfriend freaking out, as well as the spectators who were standing close by. It was one of those situations where the riders line got closer and closer to the fence as the day wore on, and the spectators hung further and further out onto the track.

On this particular part of the track, there was a kicker/booter followed closely by a subtle left-hand sweeper. As the day went on, they were jumping further out and very close to the apex of that corner. Apparently, this one spectator was hanging over the fence right at that apex and got clipped by the underside (I heard foot peg) of DB's bike as he landed from that booter. DB didn't do anything wrong, just one of those situations where the fans got too intimate with the track and the result was injury.

I never heard what happened to the guy, but it sounded really bad.
1
McG194
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Palm Coast, FL US
6/7/2022 12:01pm
Rickyisms wrote:
We have a natural step up at one our harescramble properties that’s a staple in our series, the top is a plateau maybe 15-20 feet high...
We have a natural step up at one our harescramble properties that’s a staple in our series, the top is a plateau maybe 15-20 feet high, spectators stand on both sides.

Beginner class guy rolled the initial jump, and then going up the face of the landing whiskied his 450 into the crowd. I was about arm lengths away from the dude that took that MX33 to the face…

He initially just got sucker punched by the front wheel, but the force knocked him off his feet and onto the ground off the plateau. He was knocked silly for a few minutes and was decently gushing some blood out of his cranium until the race medics attended him. Never heard about it again but I hope the dude is good.
Bartow or Mondon Hill?
motoxxx599
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11/18/2008
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Sachse, TX US
6/7/2022 12:10pm
Calhoun SX in Calhoun, GA 1999 - a guy wiskeyed off a berm and into the pits and landed on an ambulance. That same ambulance took him to the hospital.
4
lumpy790
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York, SC US
6/7/2022 12:35pm
I know a rider that was really fast in his day till a bike flew into the spectators at the Mini O's.
TriRacer27
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Dallas, TX US
6/7/2022 12:35pm
Not to belittle the tragic accidents in our sport, but they're still relatively minor and rare compared to Rally, Baja, etc. Some of the spectators in those sports treat it like a game to get as close as possible without getting clipped.
2
wpark89
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995
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12/9/2009
Location
Mattawa, WA US
6/7/2022 12:51pm
Washougal MX, circa 1991-1992 or so, there wasn't a finish flagger enclosure as there is now at the end of the whoops, a rider lost control...
Washougal MX, circa 1991-1992 or so, there wasn't a finish flagger enclosure as there is now at the end of the whoops, a rider lost control in the whoops at an amateur race, and there was a young girl (as I remember it), that was flagging and was horribly injured, I recall she had to be airlifted, but do not recall the extent of her injuries.

Just like everything else in life, we learn and improve as the track did in that case. It is hard because we appreciate a sport that basically guarantees injuries and will always have safety risks for the riders and spectators/track workers. We have to accept it to some degree and learn.
I was in that Moto….I remember the flags waving and the helicopter coming down. It was Amateur Day at the National….pretty sure it was 1994.
1911
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LAS VEGAS, NV US
6/7/2022 1:21pm
1955 Le Mans. 83 spectators killed. 120 spectators injured.
2
1
rosebud441
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Bellingham, WA US
6/7/2022 1:33pm
Yikes, we have a winner here..
1
basslips
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Monroe, OR US
6/7/2022 1:36pm
Washougal, around 1995 or 1996. Damon Huffman first year Pro Circuit. We were standing where they enter the woods. He clipped a hay bale strapped to a tree and cartwheeled his bike over the fence and took myself and a buddy out. We had to lift his bike back over the fence for him to continue. Have the 8mm video somewhere.
2
FIREfish148
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5155
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Kirkland, WA US
6/7/2022 1:46pm Edited Date/Time 6/7/2022 1:48pm
Who was it that got hospitalized a couple of years ago at washougal when someone lost control off the ski jump and shot off the s turns? Wasn’t it a friend or family of the Huffmans? I’ve seen so many people get squirrelly and wad in that section over the years.

There was a arenacross at RMC (Renton motorcycle) like 10-14 years ago and a spectator died (or was severely injured?) after someone flew off a berm while he was on the other side. That’s the reason the place was shut down apparently.

Pit Row

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wwdiii
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530
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4/15/2019
Location
League City, TX US
6/7/2022 2:11pm
I had a close one back in my racing days. Seems like it was a track in Lawton Oklahoma mid 70’s. Throttle stuck on my CZ,, ran thought a crowd of people how I didn’t hit anybody was a miracle. Flags wrapped around my rear sprocket and stalled the engine. It took forever to get the flagging unwrapped.

How we survived those days!!
2
byke
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Auburn, CA US
6/7/2022 2:25pm
RJ took one of the Acerbis track markers to the lung? I'm surprised it took this long for a freak-accident-but-not-actually-a-freak-accident to happen. I know they're designed to fold at the bottom, but the rest of it doesn't have the same feature, They've been an obviously unwise track-marker-that's-not-actually-a-track-marker since the beginning. But hey, at least someone somewhere is making some money on advertising.
1
wrc777
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Greenwood, IN US
6/7/2022 2:31pm
A couple of years ago a spectator was killed at a local hare scramble. I assume head injury due to bike going off the course but I never heard for sure. I remember finishing the race and seeing Fire and EMS go by and wondering what happened.
hubbardmx50
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Rancho Cucamonga, CA US
6/7/2022 2:36pm
I don't have any spectator injury stories thankfully, but damn i just hope whoever this fan was at Hangtown is okay. This happened at the national on Saturday? I didn't hear about it until now. Keep us updated
Motodave15
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Temple City, CA US
6/7/2022 2:41pm Edited Date/Time 6/7/2022 2:45pm
TriRacer27 wrote:
Not to belittle the tragic accidents in our sport, but they're still relatively minor and rare compared to Rally, Baja, etc. Some of the spectators in...
Not to belittle the tragic accidents in our sport, but they're still relatively minor and rare compared to Rally, Baja, etc. Some of the spectators in those sports treat it like a game to get as close as possible without getting clipped.
Not to derail, but i was at the MDR night race in Lucerne where the truck rolled and killed those people... Some people get way way way too close to the action.

Hammer 663s
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Forest Grove, OR US
6/7/2022 2:44pm
I don't have any spectator injury stories thankfully, but damn i just hope whoever this fan was at Hangtown is okay. This happened at the national...
I don't have any spectator injury stories thankfully, but damn i just hope whoever this fan was at Hangtown is okay. This happened at the national on Saturday? I didn't hear about it until now. Keep us updated
Yeah, during 250B first practice. We were standing over by the drop off there when it happened. Didn't see it happen but saw the aftermath. Was not pretty. The fence there is stout and it was destroyed. Don't know if he was standing there watching or just walking by on the pathway.

I suggested to Billy that the Dirt Diggers do some type of go fund me for the guy. If they do, I will post it up here.

Hammer 663s
1
Coggl
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Location
AU
6/7/2022 3:06pm
TriRacer27 wrote:
Not to belittle the tragic accidents in our sport, but they're still relatively minor and rare compared to Rally, Baja, etc. Some of the spectators in...
Not to belittle the tragic accidents in our sport, but they're still relatively minor and rare compared to Rally, Baja, etc. Some of the spectators in those sports treat it like a game to get as close as possible without getting clipped.
Motodave15 wrote:
Not to derail, but i was at the MDR night race in Lucerne where the truck rolled and killed those people... Some people get way way...
Not to derail, but i was at the MDR night race in Lucerne where the truck rolled and killed those people... Some people get way way way too close to the action.

Yeah its sad. Rally racing easily is the most dangerous thing to spectate.
Someone died in the Finke as a spectator and others hit
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-06-16/finke-desert-race-spectator-nige…
Rickyisms
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3231
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Location
FL US
6/7/2022 4:23pm
Rickyisms wrote:
We have a natural step up at one our harescramble properties that’s a staple in our series, the top is a plateau maybe 15-20 feet high...
We have a natural step up at one our harescramble properties that’s a staple in our series, the top is a plateau maybe 15-20 feet high, spectators stand on both sides.

Beginner class guy rolled the initial jump, and then going up the face of the landing whiskied his 450 into the crowd. I was about arm lengths away from the dude that took that MX33 to the face…

He initially just got sucker punched by the front wheel, but the force knocked him off his feet and onto the ground off the plateau. He was knocked silly for a few minutes and was decently gushing some blood out of his cranium until the race medics attended him. Never heard about it again but I hope the dude is good.
McG194 wrote:
Bartow or Mondon Hill?
Mondon hill. Probably 3 or 4 years ago.
6/7/2022 4:23pm
High point 2012 I got so drunk I didn’t know if I was walking forwards or backwards
1
JustMX
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3798
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Location
TN US
6/7/2022 4:37pm
DoctorJD wrote:
Back in either 84' or 85' at the Six Flags of Georgia national, a spectator got clipped by (I think) David Bailey. My back was turned...
Back in either 84' or 85' at the Six Flags of Georgia national, a spectator got clipped by (I think) David Bailey. My back was turned (looking at the other side of the track) when I heard the guys wife/girlfriend freaking out, as well as the spectators who were standing close by. It was one of those situations where the riders line got closer and closer to the fence as the day wore on, and the spectators hung further and further out onto the track.

On this particular part of the track, there was a kicker/booter followed closely by a subtle left-hand sweeper. As the day went on, they were jumping further out and very close to the apex of that corner. Apparently, this one spectator was hanging over the fence right at that apex and got clipped by the underside (I heard foot peg) of DB's bike as he landed from that booter. DB didn't do anything wrong, just one of those situations where the fans got too intimate with the track and the result was injury.

I never heard what happened to the guy, but it sounded really bad.
I think that was actually a local pro, Mark Crozier. that hit the spectator leaning out over that fence at six flags.
1

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