Kelowna stunt rider seriously injured in Ontario
A professional motocross rider from Kelowna was seriously injured Friday night in Hamilton, Ontario after his bid to set a record for motorcycle flips went horribly wrong.
Witness videos show Bruce Cook, 27, just failing to set the record double front flip and falling from his dirt bike, crashing into a ramp at the Copps Coliseum.
Cook is believed to have suffered a severe spinal injury in the accident. He was rushed to Hamilton General Hospital and underwent three hours of surgery.
In a message posted on his Facebook account, Cook said he has been "blown away" by the support he's received since the crash.
"I'll likely be in hospital in Ontario for the remainder of the week at which time I will transfer to B.C.," he wrote. "My mom and dad are here with me helping keep spirits high. I've got this!...There is definitely a smile under that mask."
An accompanying picture shows Cook laying in a hospital bed, wearing an oxygen mask and giving a thumbs up sign. His mother is by his side.
He later posted another photograph of him laying in a raised position giving two thumbs-up signs.
A friend of Cook’s told CTV News she spoke with Cook Saturday and he was concerned about the extent of his injuries.
“He’s got a really good support system and everybody’s rooting for him and sending him well wishes,” she is reported as saying. “His injuries have left his future kind of up in the air.”
She called the Kelowna rider “the nicest guy you will ever meet.”
When Cook failed to make the double flip and fell from his motorcycle, spectators at the Copps Colesium reportedly gasped, but later applauded as he was rushed from the scene on a stretcher by paramedics.
The stunt he was attempting had never been done before. It was an attempt to make a ramp-to-ramp double front-flip. On his Facebook account, Cook expressed excitement the day before the attempt, writing "Bike is ready and things are almost set to go. One more sleep! Get your tickets!"
Cook was participating in the Nitro Circus Live North America Tour, billed as an action-packed "extreme" sports spectacular.
Organizers of the show told the Hamilton Spectator Cook had practiced the trick "non-stop" for eight weeks prior to the show Friday.
Cook was the first Canadian to ever compete in the X Games best trick competition in 2012, where he placed seventh.