Las Vegas Sun

December 19, 2014

Faulty Landing Ruins Exhibition

Stuntman Evel Knievel, 29, made a flight of about 150 feet over the fountains of Caesars Palace here yesterday, but he failed the acid test of the aviator.

His landing wasn't one he could walk away from.

As a result, he was seriously injured and faces months in the hospital.

The stuntman, who gives Hollywood and Butte Mont. as his homes, failed to get up sufficient speed to leap from one ramp to another set up in front of the hotel, as he had planned.

His motorcycle landed on the top [art of the second ramp, rather than the downward portion.

He was thrown off the bike at a speed of about 92 miles an hour and the cycle hurtled over him as he tumbled down the 150-foot ramp and hit a retain wall.

The rampaging bike, riderless, narrowly missed several spectators before too, crashed into a wall.

Knievel was taken by ambulance to the Southern Nevada Memorial Hospital. There Dr. Armand Scully, orthopedic surgeon, reported after an X-ray examination that Knievel had suffered multiple fractures in the pelvis area.

Doctors said he might be crippled for life if it became necessary to fuse his pelvis. The medical decision was expected to be made today, following extensive examinations and consultations.

A spokesman for the stuntman said that a decision to fuse the pelvis would end Knievel's career as a motorcycle jumper.

The surgeon made a preliminary estimate that Knievel would be hospitalized for "a long time," perhaps four or five months. The injured man was admitted to the intensive care section.

Knievel's mechanic, Art Parker, reported the stuntman should have been going about 100 miles an hour for a safe landing on the jump but about 10 miles slower.

Knievel was conscious but in pain when he was picked up by the ambulance crew. A crowd of about 10,000 persons had gathered to witness Knievel's jump over the fountain area in front of the hotel.

The stutman's plans for the future had called for him to attempt to leap over the Grand Canyon in a jet-propelled motorcycle in the Marble Gorge area next Labor Day.

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