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Racer's crash mars kids' day at monster truck show (Video)

By By ALLISON MILES AND TONY BALANDRAN - AMILES@VICAD.COM AND TBALANDRAN@VICAD.COM
Jan. 12, 2013 at 10:05 p.m.
Updated Jan. 13, 2013 at 7:14 p.m.

The "pit party" took place to allow fans to check out the trucks and get autographs from the drivers at  the Winter Nationals Monster Truck Spectacular show Friday night at the Victoria Community Center.

Victoria County resident Kimberly Leal attended the Outlaw Monster Truck Show on Saturday, hoping for some loud - but safe - entertainment.

She walked away from the show before it ended, shaken, fearing that she had witnessed a young man die in the arena.

"It all happened within 20 feet from where I was sitting," said Leal, who has a medical background in pathology.

During a long jump competition, several motorcross bikes and one four-wheel all-terrain vehicle accelerated to gain momentum.

Then something went wrong.

The ATV driver "went so fast that he bopped off his four-wheeler and he landed on his neck. The four-wheeler landed on top of him, and it bounced," said Leal, who was stunned.

"The entire time he didn't move. The entire time he didn't move at all."

Event organizer Ron Woodbridge said a quad racer was injured when he crashed during a "launch 'em competition" at the Victoria Community Center.

Woodbridge said the driver, whose age was not available, broke an arm and suffered other unspecified injuries but never lost consciousness.

An on-site paramedic team immediately responded to the injury, he said, while fire department paramedics also responded and transported the driver to a Victoria hospital. The injuries were expected to require surgery, Woodbridge said.

The crash hushed a sold-out crowd Saturday, which was promoted as kids' day. Leal said her 3-year-old son was visibly upset.

"My initial reaction was shock. I was upset for him and his family. I was hoping his family was not in the audience," said Leal, who was convinced the driver was critically wounded.

"I felt like I just saw a young person cut down in front of me. That is what I took away from the show. It was devastating," Leal said. "If he comes out unscathed, it would be a miracle."

Woodbridge said such incidents occur from time to time but are uncommon in the sport.

"It can happen, and it does happen," he said, noting how another driver injured his shoulder Saturday and could no longer drive that night. "But this is a rarity."

This is the Los Angeles-based monster truck show's fifth year in Victoria, Woodbridge said.

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