Sullivan Hospitalized with Broken Pelvis Danny Sullivan, the former Indy 500 and PPG Cup Champion, was flown to Indianapolis yesterday for an operation on his fractured pelvis, which he injured in a lap 194 accident with Lyn St. James during...
Sullivan Hospitalized with Broken Pelvis
Danny Sullivan, the former Indy 500 and PPG Cup Champion, was flown to Indianapolis yesterday for an operation on his fractured pelvis, which he injured in a lap 194 accident with Lyn St. James during the Marlboro 500 on Sunday.
Sunday evening, Dr. Terry Trammell, IndyCar's Director of Medical Services, confirmed Sullivan as admitted to W.A. Foote Memorial Hospital in Jackson, Michigan and had suffered a broken upper pelvis. Sullivan received no head of internal injuries and was awake and alert while resting in stable condition. Dr. Trammell did confirm that Sullivan had lost consciousness following the accident for an estimated 45-60 seconds. Prior to leaving for Indianapolis yesterday morning, Sullivan was upgraded to fair condition.
Dr. Trammell, who performed the operation this afternoon, stated that Sullivan will remain at Methodist Hospital for the next few days and is expected to make a full recovery.
Sullivan was running in seventh position when St. James, who was a lap down to Sullivan but running just ahead of him on the track, reportedly lost her engine and spun into Sullivan's path with both hitting the turn 2 wall. Sullivan was examined at the infield hospital before being airlifted to nearby Foote Hospital.
"It was a very traumatic few minutes for everyone," said Bruce R. McCaw of Sullivan's accident. "It was difficult to determine the extent of the accident due to the fact Danny was surrounded by safety workers. We're obviously relieved Danny didn't sustain any serious injuries and are pleased he is expected to make a full recovery."
"We'd also like to thank the IndyCar Safety Team for their careful and professional care in removing Danny form the car. Unfortunately, it takes a situation such as this to fully appreciate how good these people are at what they do."
"Also, we'd especially like to thank Gene Haskett and his staff at Michigan International Speedway for quickly arranging police escorts and helicopter transportation for Danny's close friends and family following the accident."
"In fact, the whole MIS organization should be commended for their courtesy and cooperation. We experienced ourselves, and received numerous comments about, how pleasant and helpful everyone was-certainly a rarity in large public events."
While Sullivan was on target to register is second consecutive top-five finish, teammate Mauricio Gugelmin saw his hopes for a podium finish dissolve midway through the race. Gugelmin was running in the top five on lap 119 when his right rear wheel bearing failed. While Gugelmin's crew was able to install a new upright in less than ten minutes, Mauricio re-entered the race 17 laps down to the leaders.
"The race car was great today and kept getting better as the race went on," said Gugelmin. There were 20 laps near the end where I was running with my foot on the floor without lifting, I really think I had one of the best cars out there but there's nothing anybody could do about the wheel bearing. I guess a lot of teams had trouble with that today."
Gugelmin's Cosworth/Goodyear-equipped race car recorded the third fastest one-lap speed of the race behind the Honda/Firestone equipped cars of Johnstone and Riberio, both of whom failed to finish the race. His fastest lap of the 229.372 mph placed him above eventual race winner Scott Pruett whose fast lap was 229.018 mph. Gugelmin also led laps 90 and 91 of the "500" marking the fifth time this season he has led a race.