Sports

The life-threatening crash that changed Scotty Cranmer forever

When this BMXer and YouTuber got badly injured, it seemed he might never ride again.

Scotty Cranmer took a lot of bad crashes in his BMX riding career, but the crash on October 12, 2016 was definitely the worst.

He was shooting a video for his YouTube channel, just doing what he does best. Then one attempt at a trick resulted in his front tire landing in a deep pothole he hadn’t seen. This caused his bike to lock up, throwing him forward onto his face with incredible force. Although the crash was captured on camera the content was too graphic and disturbing to post.

Scotty was seriously injured.  He sustained damage to his C4 and C5 vertebrae, broken teeth and brain hemorrhage. Over the course of two months, he had many surgeries on his brain and vertebrae. Ultimately, he would require surgery to remove parts of his skull. As he describes it in a video post, when the doctors removed the front part of his skull, it looked like someone scooped ice cream out of his head.

He was unable to walk and could only move certain parts of his body. The doctors said there was a chance he would never walk again.

Cranmer was one of the world’s best freestyle BMX riders. At age 31, he is tied with Dave Mirra for most X Games BMX Park medals. He is sponsored by Hyper BMX, Monster, Vans, and Profile BMX. He also holds the distinction of having done the world’s first seat stand front flip, which is where he stood on his seat and did a front flip over a box jump–pretty insane in my opinion.

After his crash, he got his filmer, “Big Boy,” to come into the hospital and shoot update videos on his recovery. He filmed getting his teeth put back in, check ups, and slowly regaining movements in arms and legs. Scotty was definitely getting better. He was learning how to walk again and getting his balance back. On February 2, 2017 he was allowed to leave the hospital and go home. He wanted to do it in a special way, so he got out of his wheelchair and walked through the doors with his own strength.

The recovery was all filmed for his YouTube channel. His crew and the viewers raised money for the “Stand With Scotty” GoFundMe project, and threw a BMX jam for Scotty with a lot of his fans cheering him on., telling him, “You did it Scott!”

Around 5 months after he got out of the hospital, he had enough courage to ride his bike. He rode all around his skate park, which was a very big accomplishment for him after hearing he might not be able to walk again. A great encouragement during his whole recovery was his crew always cheering on his success.

During the last year and a half, Scott re-gained lots of balance and movement in his body. He is now able to walk normally, drive his truck, ride bicycles, and do everyday physical activities. Cranmer is planning to get stronger so he can ride his BMX better. He is progressing everyday and will hopefully be able to ride like he used to.

Cover Image: Jorge L Serrano

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