ALLENTOWN, Pa. – Schmidt Peterson Motorsports driver Robert Wickens underwent surgery Monday evening to address a spinal injury suffered in a violent crash during Sunday’s Verizon IndyCar Series ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway.
The surgery was to stabilize a thoracic spinal fracture associated with a spinal cord injury sustained Sunday at Pocono Raceway.
Titanium rods and screws were placed successfully in Wickens’ spine during the surgery, which was performed without complication. The severity of the spinal cord injury is indeterminate at this time. Wickens is expected to undergo further surgeries to treat fractures in his lower extremities and right forearm. He remains in stable condition.
Ryan Hunter-Reay and Wickens were racing side-by-side into turn two at Pocono. Wickens tried to go underneath Hunter-Reay’s Honda, but as the turn closed up, the two cars made contact and that sent Wickens’ Honda airborne.
Wickens’ car went high into the catchfence in turn two, ripping down a large portion of the fencing. It then burst into flames and began to rotate like a helicopter blade, rotating four or five times before landing back on the track.
He was extracted from his car and transported by helicopter to Lehigh Valley Hospital – Cedar Crest in Allentown, Pa., where he continues to be treated. He was diagnosed Sunday evening with injuries to his lower extremities, right arm and spine. He also sustained a bruised lung, also known as a pulmonary contusion.