Five drivers went down in a horrific accident in race 10 at The Meadows Monday afternoon, and as of early that evening all appeared to have escaped life-threatening injuries. Dave Palone was airlifted to a Pittsburgh hospital because of possible head trauma. A scan ruled out head injuries, and while Palone was alert he was experiencing excrutiating pain in his neck and shoulders and as of early in the evening was still at Allegheny General Hospital awaiting the results from X-rays.
Mike Wilder's wife, Heather, posted on Facebook that he was examined and released from a local hospital with a bruised wrist and ribs.
Drivers Tony Hall, Brett Miller, Todd Cummings and Michael Dowdall all escaped injury and continued working, with Hall and Miller driving in later races.
The accident occurred late in the last turn--past the three-quarter mile mark and before the horses entered the homestretch. Wilder's horse, the Randy Bendis-trained Whirl Monroe, had been leading the race since just past the opening quarter, setting fractions of :55.3 and 1:23.1, but he suddenly fell, causing the accident. Wilder had driven Whirl Monroe three times in the last two months and the horse had finished third in the same class at The Meadows the previous week with Tony Hall driving.
Palone was first-over with the Burke Stable's Intrigued Royally; Dowdall was sitting in the pocket with Most Happy Dragon.
The Brett Miller-driven Emjayem Grand A, trained by Virgil Morgan Jr., sustained a puncture wound and an eye wound that required veterinarians to advise that he be transported to a full-service clinic in Ohio. According to initial reports, other horses escaped serious injury.