Canadian driver James Hinchcliffe will probably not race again this year after a brutal single-car crash during Indy 500 practice yesterday. It turns out this was the best-case scenario: according to a day-after report, Hinchcliffe came frighteningly close to bleeding out there on the track.
A suspension failure caused Hinchcliffe to lose steering in Turn 3. He hit the wall hard, flipped, and a piece of his suspension shot into his cockpit, piercing both of his legs. According to Racer, the decision was made that Hinchcliffe had to be cut from his car immediately, his legs still impaled:
In the impact, which flattened the right side of the chassis, one of the suspension wishbones penetrated the Dallara safety cell, and subsequently caused the majority of the physical damage Hinchcliffe received. RACER has confirmed through multiple sources that Hinchcliffe had the steel wishbone enter and exit his right leg, then enter his upper left thigh, and continue into his pelvic region before it came to a stop.
The suspension component pinned the 28-year-old in the car, leading the safety team to cut the wishbone from the chassis to allow Hinchcliffe’s extraction.
With the multiple intrusions, Hinchcliffe experienced massive blood loss at the crash site, and despite the gravity of the soft tissue injuries to his lower extremities, stopping the bleeding became an immediate priority for the medical staff to address once he was pulled from the chassis.
The 28-year-old Hinchcliffe underwent emergency surgery for what was officially listed as a thigh injury. He is currently in intensive care and listed in stable condition, a testament to the safety crew and to doctors both on the scene and at the hospital. And welcome news to those waiting for word back at the track, like driver Ryan Hunter-Reay in this photo from AP Images:
Indy 500: Quick safety team response key in critical Hinchcliffe crash [Racer]