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American enduro shredder and all around badass, Casey Coffman, sent us this report about a run-in with a car while training in Death Valley, CA a few days ago. Casey, we're glad you're doing ok and wish you a speedy recovery. Be careful out there, everyone!

Hi Vital MTB,
Just checking in with you all. I know some of you heard that I was hit by a car last Friday, Jan 4th in Death Valley, CA. I was down there with the University of Nevada cycling club for a week-long road training camp. I've been putting a lot of miles in on the road bike the last year or so for training, so I was looking forward to getting a good week of base miles in to prepare for the NAET and North American stops of the Enduro World Series.

We had arrived Friday afternoon, and were out for about a 40 mile ride to Badwater, the lowest point in the USA. About a mile north of Badwater, everything went black. I woke up about 20 feet off the road, having not a clue where I was, how I got there, or remembering pretty much anything from that day. I actually stood up and walked around for a few seconds, but sat right back down. My friend Mike Leonard was quite a bit worse. He was laying face down, covered in road rash, but still awake.

He was care-flighted to Vegas, while I was put on a backboard and driven about 90 minutes, where we met another ambulance that had met us from Vegas. They would take me the rest of the way, but the paramedics in the second ambulance decided that it would be best if I was care-flighted from there. So I got the lamest helicopter ride ever, staring at a greenish light, with the lights of Vegas all around me, and my head taped down to a human-sized cutting board.

A ton of CAT scans later revealed that I had a broken transverse process (the "wing") on my C7 vertebrae, and a dislocated SC joint (the chest end of my collarbone), along with a bunch of bruising and road rash. I even had a chainring gash down the top of my butt! Pretty rad.

Mike was quite a bit worse. He had two broken vertebrae, a broken pelvis and internal bleeding. He spent four days in the ICU, but he made it home, back to Reno the other day.

The driver was an Australian girl, driving on the wrong side of the road. When a car came at her, she swerved back into her lane and hit us from behind at about 60 MPH. We're lucky to be alive.

I want say thanks to all my sponsors for all the support through all this. John Hauer at X-Fusion, Joe Lawwill at Shimano, Dr. Jack Nolle at Family First Chiropractic, who is gonna get me straightened out ASAP, and Eddie McDonald at Felt Bicycles, who took care of me at the hospital and the couple days afterward in Vegas. Also thanks to the UNR cycling team, which has really stepped up in support of Mike and myself.

It's going to be a tough few months, but I should be strong enough in time for the 2013 Enduro season, and I'm looking forward to getting back out there on the bike! See you all out there, and thanks so much for all the support!

-Casey Coffman

Casey during the Oregon Enduro Series in 2012. photo by Tim Zimmerman

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sspomer sspomer 1/14/2013 9:24 AM

11 comments newest first

Ya I was in one of those for 3 months except mine went down to my waist. It sucks, I landed on my head mountain biking and imploded 5 vertebrae's in my back and 1 in my neck. I'm still able to walk though so I'm thankful it wasn't worse. Hope you get better man were all rooting for you.

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So gnarly. I heard you tangled with a car but I had no idea it was this bad. I'm getting less stoked on road bikes by the day -- and I never loved them to begin with. Get well soon and get back to ripping!

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Ya but between your chiseled beard and your carbon fiber Felt road bike, she is lucky her car wasn't cut in half! Seriously though, glad to hear you and Mike are doing better..... come back stronger

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Glad you're alive, man. This read like a joke "The driver was an Australian girl, driving on the wrong side of the road," until I realized you were super cereal right now.

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Bummer Casey but super glad you guys made it out alive. Road bikes are scary.

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