Alex Zanardi is in surgery after suffering a severe head injury in a cycling crash.
His condition is described as “very serious” by the Santa Maria alle Scotte hospital in Siena, where he was airlifted following a collision with a heavy vehicle this afternoon.
The double Champ Car champion, turned Paralympic athlete, had been competing on his handcycle in a national road race. Police described the collision as a “serious accident”.
“Alex Zanardi was hospitalised in a critical condition at the Santa Maria alle Scotte,” said a hospital statement. “He was involved in a road accident in the province of Siena. Zanardi was transported with the Pegaso helicopter and landed at the hospital in Siena at 18.00.
“He was immediately taken care of by the emergency room professionals, assessed in the shock room and his condition is very serious due to the severe head injury. He is currently undergoing a delicate neurosurgery.”
Earlier today, it was announced that the former Williams F1 driver would race for BMW in this year’s Italian GT Championship at Monza in November.
Zanardi was competing on a stage of the Obiettivo Tricolore relay event, which runs around Italy for two weeks.
The accident happened on the SP146, a winding road through the countryside between the towns of Pienza and San Quirico d'Orcia. Reports from witnesses say that Zanardi lost control, overturned and went into the oncoming lane, where he struck a truck.
Because the accident occurred in a wooded area the helicopter couldn’t land at the site, and Zanardi had to be transferred to a field, where the helicopter could land.
Italian newspaper La Repubblica quoted Mario Valentini, the coach of the Italian team, as saying that the truck had tried to avoid the collision.
“It happened on a straight downhill, just before the road makes a slight bend,” he said. “Alex slightly crossed into the other lane. The truck tried to steer but was not able to avoid the impact.”
A further Zanardi update from the hospital: "The management of health informs that the neurosurgery and maxillofacial surgery began shortly after 19.00 and finished at 21.30. The patient was transferred to intensive care, with a reserved prognosis. His condition is very serious."
Depends on the race, but it's not uncommon for cycle races to be held with sections on open roads.
.medical personnel arrived on the scene 20 minutes later, whereupon Zanardi was airlifted to hospital.
The head of the intensive care unit continues: "Mr Zanardi is on the ventilator. Neurologically he is not evaluable because we have to keep him sedated, but the trauma is quite important. He is in a pharmacological coma."
"In the next few days," he added, "we will evaluate whether to wake him up and suspend sedation. In the meantime, the family members, with due precautions, can visit him.
The anaesthesiologist added: "The patient has at the moment parameters in the norm but the picture remains difficult to evaluate at the moment", he concluded."
Why write that? What do you know about the situation? It was an accident. Accidents happen.
https://www.motorsport.com/general/news ... n/4809765/“The condition of Alex Zanardi is serious but stable,” AP reported Dr Olivieri, the head of neurosurgery as saying. “He arrived here with major facial cranial trauma, a smashed face, and a deeply fractured frontal bone [forehead]. The numbers are good, although it remains a very serious situation.
“We won’t see what his neurological state is until he wakes up — if he wakes up. Serious condition means it’s a situation when someone could die. Improvement takes time in these cases.
Regarding the next steps Dr Olivieri said: “The next step is to try and stabilise him over the next week or 10 days. Then if things go well, he could eventually be woken up and re-evaluated.
Sabino Scolletta, the director of the hospital’s intensive care unit, added:
“The situation is clearly critical in terms of brain damage.”
That wasn't a race. Even if journalists are depicting it as such, in fact it was just a sort of promotional event/ training session, so there was no need for a road closure. (And if I'm not mistaken, in Italy cycling competitions are banned until the end of june because of covid19)
Seems it wasn't really an event at all. Having been part of the medical cover for major road races in the UK though, there are times when a person is furthest from any medical posts where the time to reach them can be longer than is ideal, though 20 minutes is extreme. I could get from Leeds to Harrogate on blue lights in less than that!!
.Seems it wasn't really an event at all.
Sounds like an event and a race and as such they should have had provisions in place to quickly deal with any accident.Sky Italia television reported that Zanardi had been competing in the ‘Obiettivo Tricolore’ road race for Italian paralympic athletes.
will involve athletes who willrace by handbike, bicycle or Olympic wheelchair for 44 stages within 14 Italian regions