Some bad news today I am afraid.
Waterford Racing Club would like to wish two of it’s finest a speedy recovery following a horror crash in training on Sunday morning.
Both Keith Gater and Mark Gunning were taken down by a tractor which turned right in front of the group without indicating whilst on a high speed descent just outside the Rower in south Co. Kilkenny.
Mark was hit by the front wheel of the tractor and went under it, prompting his teammates to fear the worst, but by some inexplicable miracle escaped with a lot of painful cuts and bruises including heavy road rash on his face and left side along with a concussion. To come out of a crash like that alive let alone without breaking anything means that either he has a guardian angel or is one of the x-men. Mark has no recollection of the accident and by all accounts that is a small mercy. He was discharged from hospital after a cat scan on Sunday night. As of Monday, Mark is doing well and is on the mend, in fact he is already back on his feet. His season will end a little earlier than we had planned, but thankfully he was well enough to be able to join the rest of his teammates when we visited Keith on Monday night. It is worth noting that the back of Mark’s helmet was crushed, no surprise considering the concussion he suffered, so he may owe his life to that helmet and this is a timely reminder why helmets are compulsory on all club rides. No Helmet, no ride, no exceptions.
Keith was less fortunate than Mark, he was hit by the rear wheel of the tractor and that sent him into and indeed over a low garden wall with a railing on it, ultimately ending up an astonishing 30 feet from the point of impact. Keith has suffered multiple fractures to the lower right leg and underwent surgery on Sunday night to have a support frame/bars drilled into the upper and lower part of his shin and foot to allow the shattered bones to knit a little bit before another operation in about 10 days time to insert pins and plates to rebuild the bone.
The information we have right now indicates that the surgery went very well and therefore we are expecting Keith to make a full recovery in roughly the 6 month timeframe, although knowing him, it will be sooner. Anyone who know’s him wouldn’t bat an eyelid if we caught him on the turbo trainer with a look keo cleat drilled onto the cast on his leg !
In the meantime the club would like to thank all of those who helped at the scene, including the residents of the houses near the crash site who called the ambulances and helped in any way they could, the four ambulances and police cars that showed up so quickly on the scene and a woman called Teresa who stayed with the stricken riders and was a huge help. Thank you all.