Raw video: Swamp Buggy crash
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Things — good and bad — happen quickly in motor sports.
Swamp buggy racer Glen Chesser of Naples learned that the hard way Sunday afternoon in the Jet's Pizza Winter Classic at the Florida Sports Park.
Chesser, son of retired swamp buggy legend Leonard Chesser and cousin to current racer Eddie Chesser, suffered multiple injuries when his buggy called Dats On crashed during a heat race in the sweeping right-hand turn around the Mile-O-Mud's south island.
Track officials and safety crew members who helped rescue Chesser confirmed that he had a compound break of his left arm, among other injuries.
Chesser was flown to the Lee Memorial Hospital trauma center by a Collier County Med Flight helicopter, said race director Mark Creel, a member of the Swamp Buggy Inc. Board of Directors. Though serious, Chesser's injuries were not considered to be life-threatening, track officials and family members said.
Amy Chesser, Glen's sister and a noted former driver at the track, was at her brother's side when he was placed in the chopper.
"He was coherent and all, but he was in a lot of pain," said a shaken Amy Chesser. "Usually they quickly announce that the driver is out of the buggy and is OK and when I did not hear that, I knew something was wrong. I just started running over there. I thought my brother was dead."
So that Glen Chesser could be properly treated on-site, the races were delayed about 40 minutes until the Med Flight helicopter cleared the track and Chesser's buggy was put back on all four wheels and towed back to the wooded pit area.
The roll cage of the buggy had collapsed, which likely aggravated Chesser's situation.
"I could have lost my brother because of that roll bar," Amy Chesser said.
Dats On was trailing Tyler Johns' Patriot in a Pro Modified division heat race when the accident occurred as Johns entered the south-island corner. Chesser's buggy rolled over upside down.
The race was red-flagged and Johns quickly stopped his buggy as called for by swamp buggy racing rules.
The track safety crew members were the first to come to Chesser's aid. Local EMS workers attending to a pair of other emergency situations in the grandstands, also helped out until the helicopter arrived.
"It seemed like it took a long time for the EMS people to get there," Amy Chesser said. "Our track safety crew did a great job."
Leonard Chesser seemed to take matters in stride, saying in the pit area that he was not worried about his son's overall condition.
"No, but he must be hurt," he said. "Because if it had been me, I would have been down there in the hospital."