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Motorcycle Stuntman Crashes at Circus, Vows to Ride Again

A 20-year-old motorcycle stuntman who broke his leg, wrist, elbow and shoulder when his circus act went awry says he will ride again.

“As soon as I can pull a boot on my leg, I’m going to be back on the bike,” Josh Headford told the Saginaw News from his hospital bed in Saginaw, Mich.  ”We put on a heck of an act, and this isn’t my first injury.”

Headford, from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, was injured Sunday when his motocross bike hit a cable during an air jump in the final act of the Shrine Circus’s final performance at the Dow Event Center in Saginaw, about 100 miles north of Detroit.

The crash was captured on video and shows Headford airborne on his bike for less than two seconds before the bike slams into the cable and Headford is sent crashing 25 feet to the ground.

“I need a doctor immediately — this is not part of the performance,” the ringmaster is heard shouting in the video’s background.  The crowd was later directed to leave the circus tent.

Also injured in the crash was Shriner Al Basner, who was playing the role of a clown and was hit in the face by the wire.

“Took him right down, we didn’t know the extent of his injuries, but it looked pretty serious at the time,” Saginaw Deputy Fire Marshal Ralph Martin told local affiliate ABC 12.

Basner has been released from the hospital and is recovering at home.

Headford underwent surgery Monday to stabilize his broken bones but is expected to make a full recovery, according to ABC 12.

Headford blamed the circus management for the accident, saying the wire should have been lowered or removed by staff before the stunt.

“I’ve been riding for about four years, and it’s rough and tumble. I do the sport, knowing the risks,” he told the Saginaw News.  “But that cable wasn’t supposed to be there; that was not cool. I guess sometimes things just happen.”

The circus has opened an investigation into why the accident happened.

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