BERWICK’S Alex Edberg is recoving in hospital this week after suffering multiple injuries in an on-track accident at Shielfield on Saturday night.
The Swede was injured in heat eight of the clash between the Bandits and Rye House when he smashed into the safety fence at high speed after clipping the back wheel of an opponent.
The incident happened in a stop-start meeting which subsequently did not go its full length because of the 9.30pm curfew.
And it was unusual in that it was caused indirectly as the result of an earlier crash which happened behind him.
Jade Mudgway lost control going up the back straight on the last lap. His spun out of control, was cartwheeled over his handlebars and as he landed on the track was struck by the following Tyson Nelson as he tried to lay down his machine.
Referee Margaret Vardy immediately put on the red lights. Race leader James Brundle, who by this time was on the fourth bend, immediately slowed, but the chasing Edberg, who one can only presume did not see the red lights in the sun, clipped his back wheel and was thrown into the safety fence close to the pits gate.
Paramedics immediately rushed to both accidents. Mudgway and Nelson, after a few moments, rose to their feet and walked back to the pits, but it was clear from the off that Edberg had suffered more serious injuries, a fact which was bore out only a few minutes later by the arrival of an NHS ambulance which had been called to the scene almost immediately.
Paramedics worked on Edberg for almost half an hour. It’s not certain whether he was fully conscious at the time, but he was treated for head and chest injuries, and was transferred to the ambulance before being transported to the Wansbeck General Hospital in Ashington.
It was not known how serious his injuries were at the time, although the general concensus amongst those at the scene were that it did not look good.
Berwick, who were eight points down at the time, ralled to win the meeting 40-38 - racing being stopped after heat 13 because of the curfew.
The rest of his Berwick team-mates immediately dedicated the win to Edberg, and they all wished him well in his recovery.
In the early hours of Sunday morning, after examination by doctors at Wansbeck, it was reported the newly-signed Bandit was conscious and talking and was fully aware of his circumstances.
He had sustained multiple injuries including cuts and bruising to his head, a broken collarbone, cracked ribs, a punctured lung (which was inflating itself), whilst there was also the possibility of a chipped bone at the base of his spine, although he does have full movement of all his limbs.
Bandits boss John Anderson wished Edberg well in his recovery, but he and team manager Ian Rae now face a major selection headache ahead of this weekend’s home clash against Somerset.
Edberg is obviously sidelined, but the club will also be without another of their top riders as Josef Franc is due to miss the meeting against the Rebels because he is racing in a European longtrack event.
“It looks like we will be having to burn the midnight oil again to assess all our options,” said Rae.
“Alex has done a tremendous job for us since coming in as a replacement for Hynek Stichauer, that’s why we decided to take him on full time.
“So to lose him so quickly after that to injury is a cruel blow. It is obviously going to take him a while to recover, but we wish him well and hope to see him back at Berwick sometime in the future.”
Kozza Smith scored his first maximum for the club in the win over the Rockets but afterwards he said it was unlikely the meeting would be remembered for that fact.
“It’s great to get my first maximum for the club,” said Smith, “but unfortunately I don’t think too many people will remember the meeting for that.
“I’m not quite sure how serious Alex’s injuries are, but our thoughts are with him and we wish him well in his recovery, because he is a valued member of our team.”
Bandits fight back against Rockets - Page 38