NHRA Funny Car driver Eric Medlen dies after test crash:

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NHRA Funny Car driver Eric Medlen dies after test crash:

NHRA driver Eric Medlen died from a severe head injury after crashing during a test run at Gainesville Raceway four days earlier.

NHRA Funny Car driver Eric Medlen dies after test crash

John Force Racing NHRA Funny Car driver Eric Medlen, 33, died Friday (March 23) afternoon following four days of treatment for severe head injuries suffered in a testing accident on March 19 in Gainesville, Fla.

Medlen made a test pass at Gainesville Raceway the day after the 38th AC Delco Gatornationals when his car went out of control and crashed into a concrete retaining wall. Medlen was unconscious when removed from his demolished Ford Mustang and airlifted to Shands Hospital at the University of Florida Medical Center, where he was listed in critical condition with a closed head injury and a broken leg.

Doctors placed Medlen into a medically-induced coma, expected to last two weeks, to help reduce brain swelling and promote healing. On Wednesday, surgeons performed a three-hour craniotomy on Medlen to further reduce the danger of cerebral pressure caused by the head trauma. Doctors continued to monitor the extent of Medlen\’s injuries until Friday when the popular NHRA driver was pronounced dead after his family asked doctors to remove life support systems in accordance with his wishes.

John Medlen, Eric\’s father, served as his son\’s crew chief since the former professional calf roper took the wheel of the nitro-fueled race car owned by 14-time Funny Car champion John Force in 2004.

“On behalf of the family, I want to thank the medical staff at Shands not just for giving Eric the very best care he could have received, but for the compassion it showed for Eric and all those close to him,” John Medlen said. “I also want to thank the thousands of people who offered their prayers and support to us during this very difficult time.”

“Eric Medlen was the son I never had,” said team owner John Force. “He was the leader of my next generation of drivers. Robert Hight, my daughter Ashley and I were with the family throughout this very difficult time. This loss is a huge blow not only to the Medlen family, but to drag racing and to John Force Racing. I just want to thank everybody for their support, from Larry Smiley with Racers for Christ, to the hospital staff to the whole drag racing community. Our prayers go out to the family.”

Medlen served previously as a John Force Racing crew member, working under his father. Medlen began driving for Force after former pilot Tony Pedregon established his own team. Medlen won six NHRA events, with a career-best Funny Car championship finish of fourth in 2006.

R.I.P Eric Medlen

Posted by admin   @   25 March 2007 0 comments
Tags: al, eric medlen nhra wreck, eric medlin nhra crash video, Ford, Mustang, Next, nhra crash eric, nhra former funny car drivers, Place, sv, This, Well, with,

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