Alex Zanardi in serious condition after accident in handbike event

Italian race automobile champion-turned-Paralympic gold medallist Alex Zanardi was in a medically induced coma and remained in severe situation a day after crashing his handbike right into a truck and smashing his face.

Zanardi, who misplaced each of his legs in a race-car crash almost 20 years in the past, was hooked as much as a ventilator and had “steady” blood stream whereas his neurological standing “stays severe,” the Santa Maria alle Scotte hospital in Siena mentioned Saturday in a medical bulletin.

“The situation of Alex Zanardi is severe however steady,” Dr. Giuseppe Olivieri mentioned in a briefing exterior the hospital. “He arrived right here with main facial cranial trauma, a smashed face, and a deeply fractured frontal bone [forehead].”

“The numbers are good, though it stays a really severe scenario.”

Added Sabino Scolletta, director of the hospital’s intensive care unit, “the scenario is clearly crucial when it comes to mind harm.”

Zanardi was transported by helicopter to the hospital after crashing close to the Tuscan city of Pienza throughout a relay race Friday.

Native TV on the scene of the crash confirmed what was apparently Zanardi’s handbike mendacity on its facet on the fringe of the highway and a big truck pulling a semitrailer parked forward.

Late Friday, the hospital mentioned Zanardi underwent “a fragile neurosurgery operation” as a result of “extreme cranial trauma.”

Spouse, son at bedside

The surgical procedure lasted about three hours, after which Zanardi was moved to the intensive care unit.

“We can’t see what his neurological state is till he wakes up — if he wakes up. Critical situation means it is a scenario when somebody may die. Enchancment takes time in these circumstances. Turns for the more serious might be sudden,” mentioned Olivieri, who operated on Zanardi. “The operation went in line with the plan. It is the preliminary scenario that was very severe.”

“The following step is to try to stabilize him over the following week or 10 days. Then if issues go nicely, he may ultimately be woken up and re-evaluated.”

Zanardi’s spouse, Daniela, and his son, Niccolo, have been at his bedside.

“As I informed his spouse, he is a affected person who’s price being handled,” Olivieri mentioned, referring to his probabilities for enchancment. “So far as a prognosis of how he’ll be tomorrow, in every week or in 15 days, I do not know. However I am satisfied that he needs to be handled.”

The 53-year-old Zanardi received two championships in CART in america earlier than a short transfer to Formulation One. He returned to America and was racing in Germany in a CART occasion in 2001 when each of his legs have been severed in a horrific accident the weekend after the Sept. 11 terrorist assaults.

Throughout his restoration, Zanardi designed his personal prosthetics and discovered to stroll once more. He then turned his consideration handy biking and developed into one of the achieved athletes on the planet. He received 4 gold medals and two silvers on the 2012 and 2016 Paralympics, competed within the New York Metropolis Marathon and set an Ironman report in his class.

Truck driver checks detrimental for alcohol, medication

Prosecutors in Siena have opened a prison investigation into the accident and the race’s group — and particularly whether or not sufficient security precautions have been taken.

About 10 disabled riders have been escorted by one police automobile, native studies mentioned.

Witnesses have mentioned that the accident occurred on a downhill part simply earlier than a curve within the highway. Zanardi apparently misplaced management and veered into the oncoming lane. The truck apparently tried to swerve out of the way in which however could not keep away from the crash.

The truck driver, who was positioned underneath investigation, examined detrimental for alcohol and medicines.

“The truck did not make a mistake. Alex made the error,” mentioned nationwide staff coach Mario Valentini, who was following the race.

The race was a part of a two-week relay occasion all through Italy to advertise the nation’s rebirth after the coronavirus pandemic. It was created by an affiliation led by Zanardi with an goal of bringing extra Italians to the Paralympics.

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