IndyCar »

Meira suffers spinal injuries in Indy crash


Vitor Meira's wild Indianapolis 500 resulted in him being detained in hospital with spinal injuries, although the long-term prognosis is positive for the Brazilian.

Having escaped a pit-lane fire, the AJ Foyt driver failed to see the chequered flag when he clashed with leading rookie Raphael Matos heading into turn one for the 173rd time. The pair touched wheels before being fired into the wall, while a second clash between the cars saw Meira spin and hit the wall again, backwards, his ABC Supply-sponsored Dallara then sliding along the SAFER Barrier while still on its side the wall before flopping back onto the track.

The two Brazilians had been running 19th and 20th at the time of the incident, Meira pushed back by his fire while Matos had twice topped off with fuel in an attempt to run to the flag while the leaders had to stop again.

The rookie's Luczo Dragon entry, which had been a frontrunning factor for much of the day, was badly damaged in the incident, and saw Matos taken to the infield care centre complaining of back pain. Meira, meanwhile, was transported to Methodist Hospital with similar symptoms, which were later diagnosed as fractures of the L1 and L2 vertebrae. Both drivers were awake and alert, and able to move their extremities.

Dr Michael Olinger, medical director for the Indy Racing League, has said that his immediate care plan for Meira involves non-operative management, while noted racing orthopaedic surgeon Dr Terry Trammel fitted the Brazilian with a back brace. Meira will remain in the hospital for at least the next two days, while Matos was later released and cleared to drive by IRL officials.

The turn one SAFER Barrier had to be repaired after the incident, with welding required at the damaged areas, having been targeted several times earlier in the day. Justin Wilson's fraught race ended when he spun his Dale Coyne Racing entry and hit the wall on lap 162, while rookie Robert Doornbos retired after hitting the turn two wall.
Nelson Philippe, Davey Hamilton, Graham Rahal and Ryan Hunter-Reay all came to grief at turn four, while the first caution resulted from an opening lap turn three collision between Marco Andretti and Mario Moraes. The Brazilian retired on the spot, while Andretti briefly returned to the fray before calling it a day with handling issues.

Additional reporting by Lynne Huntting


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Raphael Matos and Vitor Meira crash out of the 2009 Indianapolis 500   [pic credit: IRL/Helrigel]
Accident for Sage Karam on the first lap of the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday May 24 2015. (Photo by: Mike Young for IndyCar Media)
Oriol Servia accident during the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday May 24 2015. (Photo by: Mike Young for IndyCar Media)
Sebastian Saavedra`s wrecked car is craned away during the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday May 24 2015. (Photo by: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan`s wrecked car is craned away during the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday May 24 2015. (Photo by: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media)
Ed Carpenter`s car on the flat bed. Indianapolis Motor Speedway - Sunday May 17 2015. (Photo by: Mike Young for IndyCar Media)
Ed Carpenter`s car on the flat bed. Indianapolis Motor Speedway - Sunday May 17 2015. (Photo by: Mike Young for IndyCar Media)
Pippa Mann crashes in turn four at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for practice on Wednesday May 13 2015. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Pippa Mann crashes in turn four at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for practice on Wednesday May 13 2015. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
AJ Foyt attends opening day for the Indianapolis 500 at IMS (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
AJ Foyt at IMS (Photo by: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media)
Simon Pagenaud berates Ryan Hunter-Reay after their crash in turn 3 near the end of the Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana on Sunday April 12 2015. (Photo by: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)
Sebastien Bourdais talks with Simon Pagenaud after their crash in turn 3 near the end of the Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana on Sunday April 12 2015. (Photo by: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)
Sebastien Bourdais, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Sebastien Bourdais crash in turn 3 near the end of the Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana on Sunday April 12 2015. (Photo by: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)
Sebastien Bourdais, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Sebastien Bourdais crash in turn 3 near the end of the Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana on Sunday April 12 2015. (Photo by: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)
Sebastien Bourdais, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Sebastien Bourdais crash in turn 3 near the end of the Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana on Sunday April 12 2015. (Photo by: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)
The cars of Ryan Briscoe and Sebastien Bourdais go off course during the start of the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
The cars of Ryan Briscoe and Sebastien Bourdais go off course during the start of the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


Don - Unregistered

May 25, 2009 2:20 PM

Quite the bad day for Meira. First he's on fire being dowsed with water in the pits, then he goes back out and has the big crash with Matos. AN action packed day.



© 1999 - 2015 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.