There are some things that the human body just wasn’t meant for. When ligaments snap or bones break, it is an unequivocal sign that the limits of stress tolerance have been exceeded (and with usually dire consequences). So when there’s a story about a motorcycle crash that involves the phrase “his full-face helmet shears apart on impact,” i.e. even the protective gear couldn’t withstand the impact, it’s safe to say something catastrophically violent has just taken place.
So that takes us to Costa Rica, where 24-year-old freestyle motorcyclist Jeremy Lusk, shown above, died two days after an awful crash at an X Riders show. As the USA TODAY reports, on the smaller of two jumps in a run, Lusk attempted a backflip, and the trick looked fine in the air. Upon landing, though, the bike pitched forward upon landing, catapulting Lusk face-first into the ground. Video of the crash is after the break if you’re enough of a bloodthirsty jackal to want to see it.
Okay, here’s the video. If you must emotionally reconcile the morality of watching this, you can always tell yourself that techincally, although he did eventually die from his injuries, he didn’t die exactly at the point of the crash. It’s still a fatal crash, and it’s still graphic, but here it is.
According to his family’s website, prayforjeremylusk.blogspot.com, Lusk appeared to be making some early progress in his recovery and there was talk of Lusk being air ambulanced back to the US, but due to the severity of his injuries, he was still in Costa Rica, family by his side, when he passed away.
As for the effect this will have on freestyle motorcycle racing, it’s tough to say. Yes, his helmet had a structural failure, but it’s hard to imagine any kind of protective gear - short of 70 feet of foam - that could protect the human brain from the force of an impact like that. There weren’t evidently any regulations that were being ignored or violated, and there doesn’t look like anything wrong with the bike itself. It was the realization of the danger inherent in these stunts, and unfortunately, the FMX world has one less rider to show for it.