A SPEEDWAY driver was last night in a Melbourne hospital after surviving a spectacular crash at Simpson.
Paramedics airlifted Melton driver Jason Kavanagh to the Alfred Hospital in a serious but stable condition with head injuries after he rolled his super rod race car almost 10 times at Simpson Speedway.
Speedway president Ken Buck said Kavanagh was contesting his first heat of the Trevor Podger Memorial Race when his car went over the top of Winchelsea driver Geoff Leigh’s car’s wheels and rolled end-over-end “seven or eight times” as they crossed the finish line.
Mr Buck said Kavanagh’s helmet hit his forehead during Saturday night’s crash, causing swelling around his eyes and temporary vision loss.
“He was fully conscious through the whole thing – by the time we got to him he had just lost his eyesight,” Mr Buck said.
“They put him in the ambulance and the air ambulance was more of a precaution – the facility being as good as it is now they just decided to call it in,” he said.
Ambulance Victoria spokesman John Mullen said paramedics airlifted Kavanagh from the track about 10pm, about an hour after the crash.
Mr Buck said Kavanagh was lucky to escape without life-threatening injuries.
“It’s one of the biggest accidents I’ve seen at Simpson Speedway and possibly at any speedway,” Mr Buck said.
“In reality the way he came out was pretty good considering what he went through – there was no neck pain and no back pain,” he said.
Mr Buck said he received reports yesterday afternoon that Kavanagh’s condition was improving.
“He had full eyesight back and was fully coherent – they are going to keep him in for a couple of days for observation,” Mr Buck said.
“Apparently he still had some bleeding behind the eyes that they were monitoring but he is recovering,” he said.