By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
Alex Zanardi has been placed in a medically induced coma following his hand bike accident in Italy on Friday. The legendary racer is in serious condition.
He is hooked up to a ventilator as his face was badly injured in the accident with a large vehicle. Zanardi does have blood flow to his face.
“The condition of Alex Zanardi is serious but stable,” Dr. Giuseppe Olivieri said in a briefing outside the hospital. “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.”
He underwent a three-hour operation on his face on Friday. Sabino Scolletta, director of the hospital’s intensive care unit, said “the situation is clearly critical in terms of brain damage.”
Zanardi is in the intensive care unit. His wife and son is with him.
“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. Turns for the worse can be sudden,” said Olivieri, who operated on Zanardi. “The operation went according to the plan. It’s the initial situation that was very serious.”
“The next step is to try and stabilize him over the next week or 10 days. Then if things go well, he could eventually be woken up and re-evaluated.”
The 53-year-old has raced in numerous series throughout his career. He has also won two championships in CART.
The investigation is ongoing into the accident. Witnesses have said that Zanardi was at fault for the accident, as he lost control of the hand bike as he was going down a curve in the road. .
He reportedly veered into the truck. The driver of the truck has not been identified, but the authorities said he did not have alcohol or drugs in his system at the time of the accident.
“The truck didn’t make a mistake. Alex made the mistake,” said national team coach Mario Valentini, who was following the race.
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