Mattias Kessler, a professional bicyclist who had been suspended until last summer for using illegal drugs, crashed his bicycle while trying to avoid hitting a cat. Kessler was training in Mallorca, Spain at the time of his accident. Kessler sustained a severe traumatic brain injury during the crash. As of January 16, Kessler is hospitalized in serious condition in an induced coma, according to a Road CC article.
Kessler’s father, Karlheinz, said in the article that the cyclist was not wearing a bicycle helmet at the time of his crash. Kessler slammed his head into a wall and fractured his skull after swerving to dodge a cat. He received emergency surgery to remove blood clots from his brain. Karlheinz Kessler said, ‘The doctors are confident that he will recover,’ in the Cycling News article.
Although Kessler had been suspended for two years for using drugs to enhance his performance, he was looking forward to resuming his professional bicycling career before he sustained his injuries. He was reportedly not signed with any pro teams, but ‘was said to have a verbal agreement with several teams,’ the article noted.
Kessler was pictured in both articles wearing a bicycle helmet. While it is impossible to predict whether or not Kessler would have sustained injuries while wearing a helmet, the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute reported that ‘Non-helmeted riders are 14 times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than helmeted riders,’ and ‘A very high percentage of cyclists’ brain injuries can be prevented by a helmet, estimated by different studies at anywhere from 45 to 88 percent.’
Kessler remains in critical condition. We will provide updates of Mattias Kessler’s condition as they become available. We wish him a swift and complete recovery.
Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute. (January 17, 2010) ‘Helmet Related Statistics from Many Sources.’ Retrieved on January 17, 2010 from the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute website:http://www.bhsi.org/stats.htm
Cycling News. (January 16, 2010) ‘Lack of helmet led to Kessler’s skull fracture.’ Retrieved on January 17, 2010 from the Cycling News website: http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/lack-of-helmet-led-to-kesslers-skull-fra…
Henry, Tom. (January 16, 2010) ‘German rider suffers brain injury in bizarre crash.’ Retrieved on January 17, 2010 from the Road.cc w