A teenaged male was hit by a riderless snowmobile that careened into the crowd following a crash in the best trick final at Winter X Games. He was evaluated at the scene for a possible knee injury and released.
The accident occurred when rider Jackson Strong failed to land a tick on the big-air jump. He became separated from his sled in mid-air and fell to the snow. His sled landed upright, with the throttle stuck open, causing it to keep moving out of control toward spectators on the other side of a fence line.
The fencing slowed the sled’s progress, but did not stop it completely. The area in the sled’s line was sparsely populated, mostly by people associated with the snowmobile teams that support competing athletes.
Most people in the way were able to scatter, but one young fan — described by witnesses at the scene as a competitive rider in his age group — was pinned to the side of a truck by the sled. Medical personnel quickly attended to the boy, who was described by witnesses as awake and alert. He was evaluated on scene for possible injuries to his right knee, and released into the care of his father, according to ESPN officials.
Jeremy Bester of Prior Lake, Minn., was watching the competition in the area near where the sled came through the fencing. He was with his 11-year-old son at the time.
“It wasn’t scary,” Bester said. “We are around sleds all the time.”
His only thought, he said, was to get his son out of the way, which he was able to do.
Strong, 21, of Australia, was OK after the crash, and immediately got off the ground after impact and tried to stop his runaway sled. He was able to make another attempt at his trick minutes later.