A three-car crash at the Antioch Speedway nearly took the life of a racer on Saturday night during the King of the West event, which took place at the Contra Costa County Fairgrounds at 1201 W. 10th Street.
Pete Murphy of Clovis had been in the process of completing his fourteenth lap of thirty when the accident took place. He was in second place when he was met with slower traffic, and clipped the right rear wheel of the car in front of him. This caused the wing of his car to tangle in the fence, and he flipped four times before grinding to a halt on his roof. His car was struck once more on its underside by another approaching racer.
Once the wreck had settled, the driver of the 1st place #00 car stopped his vehicle to assist Murphy, who was seriously injured and stuck inside his vehicle.
The Contra Costa County Fire Protection District responded to calls for assistance and arrived around 9:15p.m. Murphy had been trapped underneath his vehicle for forty minutes before he was extracted by having a part of his roll cage removed, and was then airlifted to the John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek where he is still recovering.
The doctors determined that Murphy had suffered some very serious injuries: Traumatic brain injury, a compressed vertebrae, and severe stretching and swelling to the tendons in his neck.
The event organizers decided to end the race following the crash, as they stated that "emotions were running high with everyone." The event ended with sixteen laps left to go, and was not restarted.
The champion sprint car driver native to Sydney, Australia is expected to recover, and is in serious but stable condition. The extent of his injuries may result in long term damage.
Approximately 1.4 million people in the United States suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI), according to the Brain Injury Association of America. 50,000 die; 235,000 are hospitalized; and 1.1 million are treated and released from an emergency department. Falls and motor vehicle accidents account for approximately 50 percent of all cases of brain injury in victims under 75. More than five million Americans currently live with disabilities resulting from traumatic brain injuries.
If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury, contact O’Connor, Runckel & O’Malley and we will provide you with a free consultation with an experienced traumatic brain and head injury lawyer. At O’Connor & Runckel & O’Malley, we make sure you have the resources necessary for the evaluation and diagnosis of all types of head injuries.