Press Release

June 25, 2009
  Contact: Ivan Orisek
Rally New York Ltd.
Phone: 845-794-4096

Bulletin on the medical condition of the driver and the codriver – Racing Accident on Rogues Harbor Road in Wawarsing, New York

Forestburgh, New York — Rally New York, Ltd. is happy to report that Eamonn Sweeney was released from Westchester Medical Center yesterday, June 24, with no injuries. He is sore and will spend some time at home resting.

On Saturday, June 20, Eamon Sweeney was the codriver / navigator of the car involved in a racing accident during the New York Rally Championship, Summer Rallysprint 2009. This racing accident took place on a section of a closed race course: A portion of Rogues Harbor Road in Wawarsing, New York that was closed by permit to regular traffic for the purposes of Summer Rallysprint 2009.

We regret that law enforcement officials at the scene of the accident thought it necessary to issue a press release that stated wrongly that Eamonn Sweeney suffered severe internal head and chest injuries. This press release was in turn circulated by the Associated Press all over the world and reprinted by many newspapers worldwide. We are sorry about the unnecessary distress experienced by Eamonn’s friends and family here and abroad.

Unlike in the case of a road accident involving a standard road car with standard seat belts and seats, it is very difficult to judge just by observation a condition of a competitor involved in a racing accident. Competition cars are equipped with mandatory safety equipment such as roll cages, competition seats, and six-point competition safety harnesses (seat belts). The competitors are required to wear safety equipment such as automobile helmets, head and neck restraints (generally HANS devices) and fire-proof clothing.

All safety equipment worked well and as intended: The codriver Eamonn Sweeney was unconscious after the accident. When he regained consciousness, he was disoriented and became combative. He was placed in an induced coma for his safety until his injuries could be evaluated and, as it is customary in these situations, was airlifted to Westchester Medical Center. After extensive testing and observation, it was determined that Eamon Sweeney has no injuries.

As previously reported, the driver Mark Lawrence, an accomplished rally driver, suffered a fractured collar bone in this racing accident. He was treated at the Ellenville Community Hospital, was released and returned to the event on Saturday. He is recovering at home.

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