News 26 May 2015

McCormack injured again in AORC return

CDR Yamaha rider undergoes surgery on multiple injuries.

Image: John Hamilton (Mad Dog Images).

Image: John Hamilton (Mad Dog Images).

CDR Yamaha’s Tom McCormack has been sidelined once again following a crash at Karoonda’s sixth round of the 2015 Australian Off-Road Championship on Sunday.

Reigning E1 champion McCormack had sat out the opening part of the season after breaking his wrist in Enduro-X, before returning to finish second in class and seventh Outright during Saturday’s fifth round in South Australia.

McCormack fell in the early stages of Sunday’s Sprint format and lay on the track motionless while fellow riders rushed to his aid. Officials then stopped the event to allow the Ambulance personnel to give McCormack their full attention and the care-flight helicopter was called.

His injures were diagnosed as five broken vertebrae in the cervical region, a punctured lung and a lacerated spleen. Thankfully there was no spinal cord damage and McCormack has feeling and movement on all limbs.

“Injuries to riders are the hardest aspect of the sport and are always extremely difficult to deal with,” said CDR Yamaha team owner Craig Dack. “It’s even harder in off-road racing as it is often out on the trial, away from the parc ferme and the medical people. Thankfully, the riders are always aware of this situation and take care of any fellow competitor injured on the trail.

“His brother Mike was one of the first to him and tried to comfort him. Then competitors came to his aid while Mike rushed to get the Ambulance as news started filtering back to us about the seriousness of his fall and injuries. The helicopter was then bought in and he was rushed to Adelaide hospital.

“Everyone at CDR Yamaha is gutted for Tom and sends our best wishes to Tom, his family and friends. It can be a cruel sport sometimes, but Tom is a tough kid and will get through this. On behalf of Yamaha and the entire CDR team, thank you to the medical staff and race organisers for their professional work on the weekend and their care for a fallen rider. It is greatly appreciated.

“The early indications from his doctors say he will make a complete recovery in time, but will be required to stay in hospital for the next week to 10 days.”

Doctors operated on Sunday night to stabilise the area with two rods inserted, two vertebrae fused and also to repair the damaged lung. The operations were successful and McCormack tentatively took his first steps Monday afternoon and is expected to make a full recovery, but will remain in hospital care for at least another week.