12-year-old hurt in motorcycle racing crash

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) –Gage Beland, 12, of Lake Odessa remained in critical condition Thursday after he crashed during a motorcycle flat track race in Florida Monday.

The crash happened at the Volusia Speedway, about 25 miles west of Daytona Beach.

“A rider went down and when Gage came out of the corner, he hit that rider’s bike,” aunt Becky Cole said. “He was ejected from his bike. And when he landed they figured the impact was so severe, it shut everything down.”

Gage had to be resuscitated by paramedics who were already on scene. He was airlifted to a hospital in Daytona Beach and then to a children’s hospital in Orlando.

“The worst of it and our biggest concern at this point in the brain injury,” Cole said. “They have been able to keep the brain pressure under control in the range where they want it.”

Gage also has a broken pelvis, broken ribs and a punctured lung.

“He is still not out of the woods, but everything that has been occurring has been positive,” Cole said. “They have been able to remove drainage tubes. They have been able to get his temperature under control. They have been able to get blood pressure under control. No new bleeding on the brain.”

Gage was racing his bike on a flat track. According to AMA Pro Racing, racers lean to the side as they go through turns on their bikes, only inches from the ground and one another, and can reach speed faster than 100 mph.

Gage’s aunt said he was still on a respirator and a feeding tube Thursday night. An MRI will be done in the middle of the night, she said, to give doctors a better understanding of the brain injury.

Gage has been riding motorcycles since age 3, his family said, and has been competing since age 5. He has won some national titles.

Gage Beland. (Undated photo courtesy family)
(Undated courtesy photo)

“He is like the hardest working little boy that you would ever come across. Doing yard work is fun for him. He has a huge garden. He has chickens he takes care of. He loves to hunt and he loves to fish. He can’t stay still. He always extremely, extremely active,” Cole said.

A fund has been set up at Union Bank in Lake Odessa to help the family cover medial and travel costs. Donations may be made at the bank to the Gage Beland Benefit Fund. Donations can also be made online. As of Thursday evening, more than $5,800 had been raised to help the family.

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