Cummings Suffers Serious Injury

Larry Lawrence | June 15, 2009

Nick Cummings was seriously injured in a multi-rider crash during a Pro-Am flat track event on Saturday, June 13 at the Montgomery County Fair in Dayton, Ohio.

Cummings, Sammy Halbert and his brother Jethro Halbert were involved in the turn-two crash that happened during the first lap of a Dash race. All three riders were hurt in the incident with Cummings suffering the most serious injuries. Cummings suffered multiple injuries including, according to friends, collapsed lungs, a broken shoulder and a broken back.

Jethro Halbert suffered a broken wrist and ankle and Sammy Halbert a deep cut to his face.

According to Sammy Halbert, the riders came out of turn two when Cummings crashed.

“There was so much dirt flying around I really didn’t see anything clearly,” Sammy said. “I just saw Cummings going down in front of me. I had nowhere to go. My brother nearly cleared the crash, but Cummings’ bike bounced off the wall and hit my brother taking him down too.”

Both Halbert brothers were treated and released from the hospital. Jethro Halbert is expected to be out of action for at least six to eight weeks. Sammy is going to race this coming Saturday, June 20 in the AMA Grand National in Bulls Gap, Tennessee.

The concern for Cummings at this point is not about his return to racing, but simply making a full recovery. One of the most naturally gifted riders in Grand National racing, Cummings had never reached his potential due to personal issues and lack of funding. This year looked to be the year that he’d finally turned the corner. He joined forces with Chris Carr Racing, giving him a stable ride through the season. The pairing with Carr’s team produced immediate results. At the Memorial Day weekend Springfield Mile, Cummings was the top rider in timed qualifying, easily won his heat race and finished fifth (fourth after winner Bryan Smith’s disqualification for illegal fuel). Cummings was also making good progress in his road racing career, riding with the Pair-A-Nines Kawasaki team in Moto-GT.

The latest reports from Miami Valley Hospital on Monday morning, June 15 were positive. According to John Zwerican, former Grand National racer and close friend to the Cummings family, Cummings had opened his eyes for the first time and would squeeze the hand of friends and family when he was asked questions. Zwerican also said that Cummings is able to move all his fingers and toes and was even trying to sit up.

“He’s a tough kid and he’s already showing good signs of recovery,” Zwerican said from the hospital. “The outpouring of calls and visitors has been unbelievable.”

In an unrelated incident, former Grand National racer and team owner Randy Texter was in the same hospital as Cummings having suffered a heart attack on Saturday. Texter is scheduled to be airlifted back to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, on Tuesday to have heart surgery.

Larry Lawrence | Archives Editor

In addition to writing our Archives section on a weekly basis, Lawrence is another who is capable of covering any event we throw his way.