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post #1 of 133 (permalink) Old 06-29-2007, 10:43 AM Thread Starter
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I must post some unfortunate news. On Monday, June 25, one of our forum members known as Altoon (Alex) suffered a mechanical failure on his MV while the 2 of us were riding at Miller Motorsports Park in Utah, resulting a in a serious high speed crash. Alex is currently in a hospital in Utah, after undergoing surgery to install some metal plates and screws in his pelvis (which broke on both sides ,L/R). He is expected to be hospitalized for 2-3 weeks, and his recovery process is likely to be 3-6 months. Please keep Alex and his family in your thoughts and prayers. That’s the summary … here’s the full story:
I received an e-mail from Alex a few months back, asking me if I wanted to go with him to Miller Motorsports Park to watch the AMA race and ride the AMA track the following day. “Are you kidding me??!” I replied. Of course I’ll go! Over the next couple of months e-mails were sent back and forth setting the plans as we were both getting our bikes ready for the event. Alex was re-painting his track skins and installing a Brembo master cylinder for his front braking system, I was re-piping my R6 with an Arata Ti Shorty and re-mapping … we were both anxious to have our new modifications ready in time for the big day. Alex’s paint job came out incredibly well…. Unfortunately, he couldn’t use the Brembo m/c because the OEM brake lines were too short. He brought the Brembo anyway, and we agreed that we would try to find some lines at the track. We were hoping that Ferracci might have a some he would sell Alex.
On Saturday, Alex came to my house at 5 AM to pick me up and begin the 11 hour drive to Utah. During the trip we had great conversation. The 2 of us clicked as friends and discovered we shared similar views on many topics (except tanning, of all things!). We talked about what was ahead of us… we were both so excited we could hardly contain ourselves. When we got to the hotel, we ran into Earl Hayden. Alex called out “hey, you’re Earl Hayden!” to him, and he stopped and had a nice chat with us. Turns out his 2 boys, Tommy and Roger Lee, were staying in our hotel, and Troy Lee was in the suite next to us.
On Sunday, we went to the races. What a great day! Apex ( the track day organizers) invited us to join them in the GP Suite above the track and provided us with drinks, food – and we could watch the race on video monitors when it wasn’t happening in front of us. We walked around and found the FBF Team, and talked quite a bit with Matt Lynn and a few of the mechanics. Unfortunately, no one had the brake lines Alex needed for his Brembo setup. We found it ironic that we had rented garage E02 for our trackday --- the FBF team was pitted in E02 for the race. We both joked that maybe they would leave some good stuff behind on their way out. Not the case … they packed up every nut bolt and took it with them. At the end of the day, we found ourselves at a Sports Bar, yakking it up with a large group until 10 PM …. We figured it was time to go back to the hotel and TRY to get a good night’s sleep before our big event.
On Monday morning, we both were a bit nervous. We had heard that this was a REALLY fast track. Alex had been to Willow numerous times (which is pretty fast), but Miller had the reputation of being a motherf%&ker of a track. Matt had pointed out a few sections to us that we should watch out for, which was helpful. I was less experienced with fast tracks and had resigned myself to just go out and have fun, and try to not get too competitive with anyone. It was just a track day .. not a race …
We got to the track and set up our pit. On the first session, I was amazed at the 3500 foot straitaway (that’s like 2/3 of a mile!), followed by a sharp left hander…. This was gonna be fun …
At mid-day, Alex was riding in his prime. By this time we both had enough time on the track to begin feeling comfortable with it and started to pick up the pace a bit. Alex was dicing it up with some of the faster guys in the group… in one particular session, I noticed Alex lapping me by the end of the 20 minute round, and it was a 3 mile course!
At 3:20, we decided to mount the video camera on the tank of the bike. We had 2 sessions left in the day and wanted to catch some tape of the track. Nearing the end of the session, the track suddenly went red…. For those of you that are not familiar with track flags and rules, when the red flags come out, all “racing” stops and you must finish your lap and take the track exit when you approach it. I had just passed the exit when the flags dropped, so I had to finish an entire lap before I could come off the course. As I was coming down the 3500 foot straitaway, I noticed a bike in the run-off area at the end of it and a black object in the middle of the track.. .. and then I noticed a video camera laying near the large black object. My heart sank and I began to panic…. What happened? …. And then I noticed that the large black object was Alex (black leathers) and he wasn’t moving. He was laying in a fetal position in the middle of he track and couldn’t crawl off the track. Getting to the exit was the longest lap I have ever ridden. I wanted to get off the track quickly so I could get to Alex, but I didn’t want to crash myself in the process. As I pulled into the exit lane, I approached a staff member who informed me to stay off the track but I wouldn’t have it. I located a small dirt access road that ran parallel to the track and motocrossed it over to the vicinity of the crash. Leaning my bike against a pole, I hopped off, ran over and hopped 2 fences and sprinted over to the scene, just as the ambulance crew was strapping him onto a gurney. Thankfully, Alex was alert and answering questions, and moving his limbs. He told me that he hurt badly and I knew he was in a huge amount of pain – I could see it in his eyes. But Alex isn’t the type to complain or create drama… he was deeply injured, and was bravely keeping it together quite well. I told him that I would load the gear and meet him at the hospital and then went back to the garage to meet the crash truck with his bike.
Alex had made so many friends throughout the day, and they all came over to our garage to help when they heard news of the crash. Everyone got me loaded up quickly so that I could get to the hospital. I raced to the hospital and found it quickly, thanks to a map that one of the track day employees printed out for me. After some x-rays, it was determined that Alex had broken his pelvis and would need more care than the local facility could give. Alex was then transported to the University Hospital in Salt Lake City, and I followed the ambulance with Alex’s truck. This facility appeared to be very large, contemporary, with an excellent staff. I had contacted Alex’s wife and she was lucky to find a flight into SLC within hours, and would be at the hospital by 1 AM. Alex was given immediate attention upon arrival, and his injuries were assessed a bit more thoroughly.
While waiting for a hospital room, I was able to speak with Alex a bit more about what had happened. It seems that at the end of the straitaway, Alex pulled the front brake lever and got NOTHING….at high speed, there is NO time for adjustments…. So he began a 4 finger grab, desperately trying to get slowed down before the turn. This time the calipers responded – more than anticipated --- and the rear of the bike was violently pitched up and overhead – spitting Alex off (forward) at about 140 MPH – as the bike continued to cartwheel over him and down the track. How I wish we had found the brake lines for the Brembo setup. Here is an excerpt from his wife’s e-mail to me (yesterday), that describes his current situation quite well:

“Let's get the most important one out of the way: NO head trauma. Yeah for Arai
helmets! The Haga GP helmet will have to be retired. Damage: separated R
shoulder, fractured pelvis (R and L) and a few broken bones in his back
(transverse process fracture). Everything but the L pelvis fracture will heal
"in time".

Surgery was performed on the L side of the pelvis yesterday morning. It was
textbook and there were no complications. He started PT this morning and
managed to stand up 4 times. Yeah! The staff complimented him for being such a
good patient.

I know that many of you will be concerned to hear this news. I will do my best to update you with current news as it progresses. There are many thanks that need to be given to certain forum members that helped me out – I will get to that in due time. For now, please keep Alex and his family in your thoughts and prayers.
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post #2 of 133 (permalink) Old 06-29-2007, 10:53 AM
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I wish Alex for a quick recovery, considering the speed and the manner of the incident, I think our old friend Chris #515 was looking out for him!

Gregg, thank you for being such a great guy through this chaotic time for Alex and his family!


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post #3 of 133 (permalink) Old 06-29-2007, 11:02 AM
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WOW! i'm glad he's alive! that's a terrible accident! 140 mph cartwheel? geez... i will definitly keep him in my thoughts and prayers. i hope everything turns out well! it's definitly good to hear that he's standing already!

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post #4 of 133 (permalink) Old 06-29-2007, 11:03 AM
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Oh no!!!!

Damn it!!! I'm really sorry to hear this , but at the same time i'm glad to know Alex is hurt but will be ok in due time.
It really sucks.

Like Ben said i'm sure our Chris #515 looked out for Alex as it could have been a lot worse. And Alex sure deserved Chris attention as he was one of those who deeply felt Chris departure.
I wonder if he already had those stickers in Chris memory on his bike??

Anyway, thanks a ton for letting us know about this and for being there for Alex and his family.
Alex sure will be on my prayers for a full and quick recovery.

Please keep us posted about his condition and tell him we're all here for him
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post #5 of 133 (permalink) Old 06-29-2007, 11:25 AM
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Sorry to hear that. Glad to hear he is improving

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post #6 of 133 (permalink) Old 06-29-2007, 11:29 AM
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Oh no, I was wondering about the rather conspicuous absense of Alex and GRand on the site. I wanted to know how the track day went. Very sad to hear this!

Get well soon Alex!

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post #7 of 133 (permalink) Old 06-29-2007, 11:30 AM
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Terrible news...but it sounds like Alex will be OK. Best wishes to Alex and his family.

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post #8 of 133 (permalink) Old 06-29-2007, 11:36 AM
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Get well soon Alex.... beer should help with the pain

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post #9 of 133 (permalink) Old 06-29-2007, 11:38 AM
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Damn it!! What hospital is he in???

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post #10 of 133 (permalink) Old 06-29-2007, 11:40 AM
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Oh my good Lord! Thanks God he is alive and he will hopefully recover. Say hello to him and wish him all the Best. Thanks for the excessive Report. Keep us up to date until he can operate his Notebook again.
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