After a near-fatal accident at the Elf Khurafeh Shrine Circus, athlete Josh Headford is recovering. According to a recent article in ESPN, Headford is a 20-year-old freestyle motocross (FMX) performer. During a routine stunt for the Shrine Circus in Saginaw, Michigan, Headford broke his femur, fractured his shoulder blade and injured his wrist and elbow.
Headford was doing a standard warm up ramp-to-ramp jump when his bike struck a wire in midair causing Headford and his bike to plummet 30 feet to the ground. “Everyone was in shock,” and “at first, even our ringmaster wasn’t sure what had happened,” according to Craig Hatch, executive director of the Elf Khurafeh Shrine circuses.
According to Headford’s manager, Scott Murray, the “guy wire” was supposed to have been raised before Headford was ever given the signal to start his jump. As an athlete and performer in the show, Murray insists more preventative measures should have been taken to protect Headford’s safety. Murray stated, “We’re professionals, and this is what we do for a living. But these promoters have to understand that the safety of the athletes has to come first.”
Safety is Paramount
Freestyle Motocross is certainly dangerous. FMX star Jeremy Lusk was killed in a performing accident in Costa Rica in 2009. In 2011, Jim McNeil, another FMX athlete, died while practicing for an exhibition jump in Texas. Both deaths prompted efforts to improve safety conditions for riders. These athletes know the risks they are undertaking, but they also expect the performance area to be made as safe as possible. With a wire stretched taut across the middle of Headford’s jump space, that was certainly not the case at the Shrine Circus in Saginaw.
Audience Members Injured
Performers may not be the only ones in danger at a show. An MTV article told the story of a particularly wild and ultimately dangerous concert at New York’s Nassau Coliseum. Due to disagreements with the venue, performer DMX caused a major confrontation during his time onstage. He and several members of his crew threw water bottles into the crowd. When an audience member struck back by throwing a metal folding chair onto the stage, the chair was thrown back offstage where it struck a 29 year-old woman in the head. She suffered cuts and was treated at Nassau University Medical Center.
A similar incident occurred at the Dodge Area Arena in Sedalia, Missouri. During the Delicious Rox Festival 2006, a female audience member was hit in the head with a beer bottle that was thrown from the stage. As a result, the rest of the festival and concert was canceled and evacuated by the police.
In our culture, entertainment is revered, and people go to a variety of shows to enjoy entertaining performances. However, proper precautions must be taken to ensure the safety of crowds at these events. If you or a loved one was injured at a performance, contact us today for your free consultation to discuss your possible claim.