BMX star TJ Lavin remains hospitalized in critical condition with head injuries in Las Vegas after a violent crash Thursday night in qualifying during a Dew Tour competition.
Lavin, 33, was soaring high over a dirt ramp and attempting a difficult maneuver that entailed becoming temporarily unseated from his bicycle. He failed to get his feet back on the pedals before landing on the down-slope, and became separated from his bike just before impact.
It was not clear based on distant video footage whether he wore a helmet. The video, which was posted briefly on YouTube, has been blocked by NBC Universal, which owns the Dew Tour, based on copyright grounds.
Lavin, a Las Vegas native who also stars for MTV's "Real World/Road Rules" series, was knocked unconscious and also was said to have suffered broken ribs and a broken right wrist. A spokeswoman at University Medical Center on Friday morning would not confirm those injuries or reports that Lavin was in a medically-induced coma. All she would confirm was that his condition remained critical.
The incident underscores the danger of top-level BMX competitions, during which competitors perform tricks such as bike spins, bar spins and body maneuvers that involve releasing their feet from the pedals.
Lavin, who helped design the Las Vegas course, is a veteran BMX Dirt specialist and longtime star, having won X Games gold medals and numerous Dew Tour accolades. He'll be in the hearts and minds of fellow competitors as the season's final Dew Tour compeition runs through the weekend.
-- Pete Thomas
Photo courtesy of Dew Tour
Editor's note: This post also appears on GrindTv.com