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Drivers injured in Woodbine spill moving forward in recovery

March 12, 2009

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The three drivers who were the most severely injured of the eight involved in a chain-reaction pile-up at Woodbine on March 2 are all on the mend and looking forward to being back in the bike.

Roger Mayotte, who sustained a broken right arm, dislocated shoulder, and torn ligaments in his pelvis while parting company with Shiny Mach, has this week returned to his barn at Mohawk, though he’s walking with less than the usual spring in his step.

\"The fresh air and moving around strengthens your whole body instead of sitting around in the house,\" said Mayotte, who was scheduled to return to Etobicoke General Hospital on Thursday morning to determine whether his shoulder will need surgery.
\"I had a CT scan on Saturday, so it\'s a big day tomorrow decision-wise,\"he said on Wednesday. \"I went to Oakville (Hospital) the other day and they took three pictures (x-rays) of my pelvis. I was real happy to find out there was nothing broken. They said it was torn ligaments and muscles and they want me to move around. At first, when they looked at me at Etobicoke, they said it was a suspect fracture.\"

Twenty-eight-year-old Robert Shepherd, who suffered a severely broken leg in the spill from the bike of Rust Belt, had surgery on Saturday to insert a titanium rod and screws in his left tibia. Prior to the surgery, he gave his physicians and family a scare when fat emboli emanating from his bone marrow made their way into his bloodstream, compromising his breathing and necessitating a move to Intensive Care.

Fortunately that condition has now stabilized, and Shepherd is now alert and beginning to move around with the aid of a walker. He is optimistic that he will be released from the hospital this weekend and expects to be back in action after about six weeks of recuperation.

Finally, Mario Baillargeon, who was rushed to Milton Hospital after his horse Warp Speed went down and triggered the eight-horse wreck, is now home with his right leg in a cast. His girlfriend, Marie Eve Robitaille, reports that while the broken tibia was quite painful in the first week after the injury, a cast change yesterday has made Baillargeon more comfortable, and he is getting around for short periods of time on crutches.

He, too, expects a recuperation period of about six weeks, and hopes to be ready to climb back in the bike sometime around opening day at Mohawk (April 30).

\"We were very, very lucky,\" said Robitaille. \"It could have been so much worse.\"

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