Pastrana Injured in Auto Crash

The following story is from the Annapolis Capital...

A local daredevil known worldwide for his breathtaking motorcycle stunts was seriously injured early this morning when his Corvette crashed into a tree in Davidsonville.

Travis Alan Pastrana, 19, of Davidsonville was flown by helicopter to the Prince George's Hospital Center Trauma Unit, where he was in serious but stable condition, county police said.

His passenger, Matthew Scott Bigos, 20, of Merritt Island, Fla., suffered a possible spinal injury and was taken to the Shock-Trauma Center at University Hospital in Baltimore, where he was also listed in serious but stable condition, police said.

According to police, Mr. Pastrana was driving a black 2003 Chevrolet Corvette on Rossback Road about 12:30 a.m. when the vehicle went airborne after cresting a rise in the road near Overlook Glen.

When it came down, the Corvette ran off the right side of the road, police said. Mr. Pastrana apparently then steered sharply to the left, causing the Corvette to spin while crossing the road.

The Corvette then went onto a steep embankment and struck a large oak tree. The force of the collision flipped the Corvette, threw Mr. Pastrana from the vehicle and blew apart the engine, police said. The car landed upside down in the middle of Rossback Road, about 300 feet from where the driver lost control.

Police were unsure how fast Mr. Pastrana was driving at the time of the crash.

"It hit so hard that the motor was thrown out of it," said Lt. Keith Williams, commander of the Traffic Safety Section. "You can't even tell what kind of car it is. It is just completely destroyed."

Mr. Bigos was rescued by county firefighters after the crash, police said.

Police were still investigating the crash this morning. It was unclear where the pair were headed. Police didn't believe alcohol contributed to the crash.

Mr. Pastrana's family couldn't be reached for comment.

The motocross champion is no stranger to injury. Since he first got a motorcycle at age 4, the man has suffered 20-some broken bones, undergone numerous surgeries and given his parents, Robert and Debbie, plenty to worry about.

His father reportedly thought he died after watching one particularly high-flying stunt go wrong in Arizona in 1998. The teen lost consciousness after landing and his spine separated from his pelvic bone, forcing him into a wheelchair for more than a month after the incident.

Mr. Pastrana has been taking a break this spring to recuperate from the wear and tear on his body.

In a recent letter to his fans printed online in MotoCross Action, Mr. Pastrana said his knee is very painful. He said normal competition now leaves him barely able to walk for the following 24 hours.

"Well, the plan for this summer is still up in the air. I want to race anything and everything in an attempt to open some doors for myself in sports that require skill but less pounding on my body," he wrote.

Mr. Pastrana gained national attention at the 1999 X-Games in San Francisco after riding his bike off a pier into the San Francisco Bay to celebrate his win in a freestyle competition.

Once dubbed "the ultimate showman," Mr. Pastrana has a vast fan following, his own action figure, a DVD of highlights, a Bobble Head doll and has appeared on everything from "The Tonight Show" to "Real TV."
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George Obradovich
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