A Winnipeg woman went for a fun ride in a go-kart on Saturday but left with a deep gash so bad she needed 12 stitches. Now, she wants to make sure it doesn’t happen to anyone else.
Dayna Solvason was racing a go-kart at Speedworld Indoor Kart Track on Saturday for a friend’s birthday party when another driver hit her from behind.
Solvason’s cart was bumped into a wall and her knee forced up against an exposed bolt in the go-kart, causing a seven centimetre gash.
actually seen some flesh hanging there,” she said.
Staff at the track gave her Band-Aids and paper towels, but when the bleeding wouldn’t stop, her husband took her to the hospital.
There, doctors gave her 12 stitches, five for her muscles inside her leg and seven on the outside.
"They actually had to stick their fingers in to try and feel the muscles and nerves and make sure there weren't any particles left inside my leg from the bolt," she said.
Solvason says it never should have happened.
“If they’re being inspected for safety, I’d like an explanation from somebody as to how that wasn’t caught beforehand,” she said. “That bolt gouged through my leg!”
Speedworld’s owner Mark Sawatsky said his track gets a “major” inspection weekly and another less-detailed daily inspection.
“When you’re sitting in the kart, and you see how far apart this bolt is to your leg, you would never think – looking at it you would never think that it could happen,” he said.
Sawatsky said in the nine years he has been in business, the bolts have never been a problem.
Since the incident, he has ground down all the bolts to make sure no one else gets hurt.
Still, he said if riders follow the track’s safety precautions, they can avoid injury.
“The girl that was injured, she tried to go around a turn too fast, hit the wall, and you know, got hurt,” he said.
Solvason said the track should take some responsibility for what happened. Despite signing a waiver, she said riders have a reasonable expectation of safety.
“I didn’t expect a part on a vehicle on their cart to cause that kind of damage, and if they’ve never had an incident before, well they have it now,” she said. “I'd just like to have an explanation as to how a bolt sticking out that far isn't a concern for safety.”
She said when she called Sawatsky to tell him what happened he offered her a free ride on her next visit instead of an apology. Solvason said she won’t be taking him up on the offer.
Staff with Manitoba's Office of the Fire Commissioner did inspect the Speedworld track recently, a government spokesperson confirmed to CBC News.
Inspections at such facilities include checking that the go-kart's brake and throttle controls work properly and ensuring the track has a hard, smooth surface and proper barriers, the spokesperson said.