The B.C. dirt bike stunt driver who sustained a devastating back injury while attempting a world record stunt in Hamilton is back on the west coast and on the mend.
Bruce Cook has been posting photos to his Facebook page as updates since he was hospitalized in early January after attempting to set a world record for a double front flip on a dirt bike that ended with a devastating crash into a landing ramp.
“First day self-propelling,” he wrote after getting into a wheelchair for the first time. “Popped some wheelies, dragged some wheelie bars with Tom by my side. That's a good day!”
Cook was injured during a Nitro Circus show at Copps Coliseum. He was flown back to B.C. on Saturday after spending over a week in a Hamilton hospital recovering from surgery to repair a crushed vertebra in his back.
Cook told the CBC that through support and determination, he hopes to get back up on his feet.
“I’ve got a long road ahead. My spinal chord wasn’t completely severed but it was severely damaged,” Cook told CBC Radio’s Daybreak South. “I’m staying positive that I’ll get through. I’m staying positive that I’ll walk again with enough work and support and determination.”
The freestyle motocross driver says he remembers the entire crash.
“It’s all about timing, speed and your body position of the ramp. You get a quick glimpse of your landing after the first flip, but after that you don’t see landing until you’re almost around,” he said. “I just didn’t get quite enough rotation.”
“I came off the back of my bike and my feet basically dug into the landing … I kind of folded my back down to my feet. Literally the split second before I hit I knew it wasn’t going to be good.”
Cook says he successfully attempted the stunt dozens of times into a foam pit, as well as thousands of “normal” runs onto ramps that don’t include a double front flip.
You can watch the video of Cook’s accident below. Warning: it can be considered graphic: