© 2013, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.
by David Swarts
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In spite of suffering serious injuries, racer and WERA Official Terrance Johnson feels he was saved by inflatable soft barriers when he crashed during a WERA Sportsman race event this past weekend at Summit Point Raceway.
"I'm so happy that Airfence was there," Johnson wrote to Roadracingworld.com via Facebook. "I probably wouldn't be here if not for it."
Johnson said he lost the front end of his 2009 Suzuki GSX-R600 as he transitioned from right-hand Turn Seven to Turn Eight, a fast left-hand sweeper. He estimated he was going between 80-85 mph when he crashed into the soft barriers on the outside of the turn, which front a loose, single row of tires, which fronts a low ridge of solid rock.
"I was having a real hard time breathing. It felt like I got the wind knocked out of me, but it was not coming," Johnson told Roadracingworld.com in a telephone interview Tuesday. "I got up and walked into the ambulance, and as I was talking to them it was getting worse. So I told them they should probably take me to the hospital."
Johnson was flown via helicopter to INOVA Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church, Virginia, where he was diagnosed with six fractured ribs, small fractures to his L1 and L2 vertebrae, a lacerated spleen and a punctured lung.
"The lung closed itself back up, so that's doing a lot better," Johnson said from his bed in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). "Now they are checking my blood every four hours to make sure I don't have any internal bleeding. If that continues to do good then they will move me to a regular room."
Johnson said he has not had any surgery and if everything continues to go well he will not require any surgery. He estimates he could be out of the hospital within a few days, and shortly after that he plans to make his first donation to the Roadracing World Action Fund.
"I've helped take it [soft barriers] down and put it up at Road Atlanta before," said Johnson, "but I've never actually donated to the Action Fund. But you can be sure that when I get out of here you guys are going to be getting a donation from me. You take it for granted that the stuff is going to be there, but it wouldn't be there without you guys doing what you do and people donating. Please tell everyone just keep up the good work, and if you can please thank the MARRC corner workers for me. Once again, they saved my bacon."
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