North

Whitehorse snowmobile jumper gravely injured

A young Whitehorse man is in a Boston hospital with a broken back and other serious injuries he suffered while jumping his snowmobile at an extreme sports event in New Hampshire.

A young Whitehorse man is in a Boston hospital with a broken back and other serious injuries he suffered while jumping his snowmobile at an extreme sports event in New Hampshire.

Darryl Tait, 19, has a reputation as a whiz at snowmobile aerial displays, his uncle Russ Tait said. However, he landed badly during the New Hampshire Grass Drags on Oct. 11, breaking his back, collarbone and ribs, as well as damaging his lungs, Tait said.

Darryl is in Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston in very bad shape, he added.

"The odds are really slim that the damage to his back would allow him anything more than to be in a wheelchair, but at this point they need to get his lungs healed up first," Tait told CBC News.

"His dad's a lifelong pilot, and Darryl basically flew that machine like he was flying a plane. He's really good at what he does, but at the same time it can have serious consequences."

Darryl Tait's father, Jamie Tait, said his son's accident has made him wonder if extreme snowmobilers fully realize the risks involved with their sport.

"I want to say athletes — because really that's what they are — they are going into a world of such a fine line between a wheelchair and being a champion," he said.

The family has been overwhelmed by the support for Darryl, including four friends from Whitehorse who flew to Boston immediately to be with him, Tait said.

More than 1,000 people have a joined a Facebook site called Pull Through Darryl.

now