Apr 10, 2012
© 2013, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.
by David Swarts
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Ben Truslow (28) in action at Auto Club Speedway earlier this year. Photo by David Swarts/Roadracingworld.com.
Ben Truslow, a 17-year-old WERA West racer, is recovering from brain surgery in University Medical Center, in Las Vegas, Nevada, following a high-speed crash he had April 8 during a WERA West race event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway's Classic Course.
Truslow was battling for position with Outlaw Racing teammate Tyler Linders as they entered the fast sweeping turn at the end of the back straightaway of the 1.8-mile course when Truslow's Outlaw Racing Yamaha YZF-R6 apparently made contact with the back of Linders' bike.
"Tyler came in and said he felt he [Truslow] made contact with the back of his bike," WERA Motorcycle Roadracing President Evelyne Clarke told Roadracingworld.com.
"I don't know a lot about motorcycles," said Olivia Martinez, Truslow's sister told Roadracingworld.com Tuesday, "but from the way it sounded he came into a corner with Tyler Linders. They came into the corner and the draft turned into a vacuum and sucked him in too fast. And at about 140 mph he shot 20 feet in the air and landed on his head. Instead of sliding he went straight up in the air."
Truslow was responsive at the scene of the accident, according to both Clarke and Martinez, and answered basic questions correctly.
"He came around after the crash," said Clarke. "Then he started to be a bit incoherent and was obviously suffering from a concussion, so they loaded him up in the ambulance to take him to the hospital. Then on the way to hospital he went downhill and they rushed him into surgery."
"They took him to University Medical Center," said Martinez, "and did surgery to remove two pieces of his skull to relieve swelling in his brain. The first night his inner cranial pressure was very high, like five times what they want it to be for a normal person. We're very lucky he made it through the first night. They did not have high hopes.
"But he made it through," continued Martinez, "and his pressure is down to about normal and they are very happy with that. Just today they told us we're allowed to speak to him and touch him and play music for him, which is really big for us. He's stable and moving in the right direction. I think they're going to wait a couple of days and start to take the medication away and bring him out of the coma they induced. The coma was induced to keep the swelling down and help his brain heal. If he continues doing as well as he's doing they'll take him out of it slowly, but he will probably remain under for about a week, until all of the medication is out of his system. After that it's just a matter of time, and then they will put the pieces of his skull back. It's all a waiting game at this point."
Martinez said those interested in sending messages to Truslow and his family can do so via his Fan Page on Facebook (~).
"On a side note," said Martinez, "we are asking if people would like to support Ben they can do so via his continued fundraising for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation. We're hoping that by the time he wakes up we can tell him that he reached his goal in fundraising. So we're directing people to the online donation system, which you can find on his fan page. He'd really love to wake up to something like that."