Italian Authorities To Investigate Tomizawa's Fatal Crash

The Rimini prosecutor's office (the Italian equivalent of a district attorney, or crown prosecution service) is to investigate the events surrounding the death of Shoya Tomizawa during Sunday's Moto2 race at Misano. The prosecutor is to investigate whether any of the parties involved in the crash can be regarded as culpable for the tragic death of the Japanese rider in any way. Charges of "culpable homicide" (equivalent to criminally negligent manslaughter in Anglo-Saxon law) are being brought against persons unknown during the extent of the investigation.

According to the Italian press agency ANSA, an autopsy is to be performed on Tomizawa to determine whether the fact that a corner worker charged with carrying Tomizawa from trackside to the ambulance slipped in the gravel and fell, dropping the stretcher Tomizawa was on and allowing the Japanese rider to fall on his head, was a contributing factor to Tomizawa's death. The decision to move Tomizawa had been made by one of the medical officials, who had determined that Tomizawa was not breathing and needed to be put on a respirator as soon as possible, which the nearby ambulance contained. The marshalls were charged with moving Tomizawa to the ambulance as quickly as possible.

The investigation will further seek to determine whether medical attention was provided in a timely and adequate manner, and whether the course of action followed was the best one to take under the circumstances. The Italian traffic police have already examined the scene of the accident, as is normal practice for such events.

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I am sure that every action taken was in the best interests of Shoya at the time.
Yes a review of what happened and reccomendations for the future, but to even consider action against people trying to save a life in urgent circumstances is deplorable!

>...but to even consider action against people trying to save a life >in urgent circumstances is deplorable!

I definitely agree with this part.

But I'm not so sure this is the aim. I think people want the race organizers to better explain/justify the decision to allow the race to continue. And to answer for how clumsily/contrary to best medical practice Tomizawa was removed from the track (even if dropping him was just an unfortunate accident/consequence of trying to get him to where he could get the best medical attention ASAP).

I think any investigation will show Tomizawa's injuries were fatal, and shortcomings in the immediate aftermath will be seen as a chance to see how things can be done better in the future.

"I am sure that every action taken was in the best interests of Shoya at the time."

I'm not so sure about the "every action" part.

Of course it's important to eliminate the danger posed by a fallen rider -- the danger to the fallen rider himself (via racers approaching at high speed), and the danger to other racers (who, approaching at high speed, might not be able to avoid the fallen rider, or debris from the crash).

But it's also important to properly assess for neck/spinal injuries before moving someone. In this sense, reports that Tomizawa was dropped from the stretcher as he was being hurriedly removed from the scene are very troubling. A careful autopsy will be important to determine the exact cause of death (which I don't imagine was being dropped).

I did not see the crash, or the immediate aftermath, and do not intend to look for video of it.

But from everything I read, I think it would have been better to red flag the race. And I expect a proper investigation, or re-consideration, of the whole event to come to the same conclusion.

I personally do not understand why there has not been more controversy in the media over the procedures that followed Tomi's crash - to the horror of everyone watching.

To see an injured rider being manhandled away from the track and not being treated where he fell is truly shocking and we all know rule 1 page 1 is not to attempt to move an injured person until they are properly stabilized and protected to avoid further injury. We see this being put into practice in traffic accidents and other sports everywhere. No ifs, not buts’.

It doesnt follow that in the aftermath of an accident like this "somebody" must be to blame, but how can it be that medical and safety precautions in this situation are more professional and thorough at a Mallory Park club meeting than in the world championship?

And the thought that really sickens me...if it was Valentino Rossi lying in the track in that condition, would it have been handled differently? It makes me very uncomfortable to think it would have been.

There is one exception to not moving an accident victim with unknown spinal injuries, and that is if their life is in danger by not moving them. As an extreme example, if a pedestrian is hit by a car and is lying motionless on the street, you don't move them. If they are hit by a car and are lying in the middle of a motorway with a lot of oncoming traffic, you drag them out of the way of the speeding trucks first, then worry about the spinal injuries. Decisions are never black and white, but they can be very, very, very dark or pale grey.

Are you implying that whoever was making descisons on procedure knew that racing would not or could not be stopped at all and thats why he had to be moved?

I think he ment that Shoya would recieve much faster treatment getting him to the ambulance that was right behind the armco. Instead of trying to drive it around the track (with riders still on it) which would have taken much longer.
I'm really getting sick of everyone armchair quaterbacking what the race workers did in trying to save Shoya's life.
I'm sure Shoya would NOT want everyone acting in this ugly manner.

What the sport needs is a review of every serious injury and death no matter how unpalatable it is. We need to work out how to best make decisions in the heat of the moment.
Reviewing and having vigorous debate on the pros and cons is not ugly nor disrespectful- it's because no one want to see it happen again.

Standard practice here in the US is to stop traffic and dont move the body.

I have participated in this scenario multiple times and it doesnt matter how big the highway is or how fast traffic is moving. Vehicles are directed to a different lane, and if that lane is close or speeds are high, the highway is shut down.

Thats my point too....and it's why tracks have multiple marshall points and a long established flagging system to stop racing in an instant.

So unless Dave's point is a roundabout way of saying racing could not be stopped for some reason, I think the argument re moving because of traffic on the track is thin and out of date as far as motorsports is concerned.

Yes on the highway where there is NOT a ambulance waiting 50 feet away just over some armco

I totally agree with you David but maybe you will agree with me that a race track is not a motorway. Stopping a race is nothing like closing a section of a busy motorway. Race tracks are controlled environment, this is why we run there and not on the road.

We should not be afraid to get better. I believe that answering to questions like:
. in which conditions it is better to defibrillate/rianimate a pilot on the track or on the ambulance?
. how good/real time is the communication between the doctor and the race direction? Do we need to make it better?
. what is the the most efficient procedure to transport a seriously injured pilot?
. what is the protocol if a pilot dies on the track?

would be one of the best way to honor Tomizawa's death.

I think this was the point I was trying to make. These are the decisions that need to be made - often in a split second - and which should be evaluated after Tomizawa's tragic death. 


Regardless of whether the outcome for Shoya could have been different or not had he been physically handled differently, the race should immediately have been red-flagged, thereby removing the danger from the marshalls and medical workers (if any truly qualified medical personnel were indeed on track by Shoya) and relieving them of the extreme sense of urgency caused by the fear of getting hit by 450 lb projectiles (bike + rider) screaming by them at 150 mph.

The only reason for not stopping the race was to keep the race going, and the only reason to do that ultimately was purely for financial reasons.

There is immense pressure, coming from the top down, to not stop a race. It is this atmosphere that absolutely must be stamped out of existence.

When there are injured riders who are not able to walk away on their own, red flags should be mandatory. Other than, again ultimately, money, there is nothing to be lost by stopping the race under such circumstances.

Regardless of what an autopsy might reveal (or whitewash), the person(s) who had the authority to stop the race but chose to not do so must be relieved of his position immediately. If the autopsy somehow conclusively determines that trackside actions contributed to Shoya's death, then the official(s) should also be criminally prosecuted.

Going forward, all races must be mandated to be red-flagged anytime there are injured riders who are unable to walk away on their own. Incentives/penalties must be instituted to rid the entire organization of this insidious and oppressive pressure against stopping races, even when, as in this case, the need to do so is so obvious. Again, absolutely nothing, other than ultimately money, would have been lost by stopping the race.

Whatever the autopsy's results, the marshall/medical personnel who stumbled and dropped Shoya should not be prosecuted for anything. He didn't intentionally drop Shoya. It was an accident caused by the haphazard rush to get out of the danger of the bikes flying by, the rush and danger which would have been eliminated by stopping the race.

To eliminate any hesitation on the part of riders (if any exists) at stopping races when necessary, restarts should be made as fairly as possible. Restart grid placements should reflect positions as of the last sector time check before stoppage, and all time advantages as of that time check should be kept and carried over to the end of the restarted race.

This should leave the only truly hesitant parties the organizers, and with the appropriate combination of incentives and penalties, it should be able to drive the extreme reluctance to stop races out of the luxury boxes. As money is what drives the attitude in the first place, the desire not to lose any of it (with significant fines, real threat of loss of jobs, rights, etc.) should also be able to remove such extreme recalcitrance.

Far more investments also need to be made toward upgrading the quality and training of marshalls and medical workers, as well medical equipment, ambulances (more and better).

...can come from this.  Certainly everything needs to be reviewed, and there are a lot of problems available for further examination, but government is almost never the best authority for this sort of thing.

This just reeks of the cluster-fornicate that raged for years following the death of Ayrton Senna.  After years of "investigation" and "prosecution", the only ones to benefit were the lawyers.

"This just reeks of the cluster-fornicate that raged for years following the death of Ayrton Senna. After years of 'investigation' and 'prosecution', the only ones to benefit were the lawyers."

I had the EXACT same thoughts even before I read the comments.

The investigation should not be directed at the Marshalls. It should be directed at the medical staff that ordered the Marshalls to move Tomi.

"the only ones to benefit were the lawyers."

This is Italy. The only ones who benefit from anything the government gets involved in in Italy are the lawyers.

(This is not a jab at Italians or even the Italian government but rather a jab at Italian lawyers)

The investigation should focus on who made the decision to move Shoya and Scott since it appears to contradict everything that I have been taught in Emergency Trauma/First Aid training
Was that influenced by the decision for the race not to be red flagged?
How and why was the decision made not to red flag the race?
I have read the official reasons and they dont add up
If the investigation improves the treatment for injured riders then it can only be a good thing

The first thing any medic does with a casualty is the ABC's - Airway, Breathing, Circulation. If someone isn't breathing then any issue of protecting the spine etc is secondary. The medic on the scene made the call that poor Shoya's best chance of resuscitation was to be taken to a fully equipped ambulance nearby.

Hopefully any investigation will have constructive criticism of how fallen riders should be treated. In other championships we usually see the rider left where he lies and a fully equipped medical car sent to him. Only trauma specialists can tell us what the correct decision would be. I just hope that something can be learned from this tragic accident.

This is exactly what happened on Sunday. Medical staff ascertained there was a problem with Tomizawa's respiration that needed immediate action, and there was a respirator available 30-odd yards away in an ambulance. If they had red-flagged the race and waited for an ambulance to arrive on track, that would have put Tomizawa's life more at risk than by picking him up and taking him to the ambulance.

Unless there is something wrong in the design of this track, the ambulance should have been able to get to the rider. If the gravel posed an obstacle, the next corner should have had an ambulance at it as well which should have been able to get to the rider nearly as quickly.

However, since the race wasn't red flagged, neither of those were even an option so Medical had only one decision they could make: move the rider.

This is not directed at you David, but this is what we are being told, I believe, to protect the parties involved.

Evidence? Look at how Redding was treated.

The ambulances should be positioned where they can respond immediately (seconds) and the red flag should have been thrown while Tomi was cartwheeling and clearly unconcious. I would have ordered the red flag long before he came to a stop. It was THAT obvious that this was a serious (Red Flag) incident. The announcers, guys who have called these races for decades were screaming Red Flag while Tomi was lying still.

IMO, the well rehearsed Press Conference was a preemptive manuever by those parties knowing that an investigation was imminent.

The medics should have carried the portable respirators. The ambulance should have been positioned in the place that it can reach to the scene on track faster. The race should have been red flagged to slow the riders down. I am not pointing fingers to the organizers, but want them to learn something to increase the chance of saving the life of the riders from this tragedy.

Major rearrangments to health and safety codes are symbolic changes. They probably wouldn't have saved Tomizawa, and as racing fans are acutely aware, changing the rules and procedures always has unintended consequences.

It is a waste of time, money, and resources to investigate the things that could be done to save motorcycle racers who've been struck by motorcycles at high speed. If you're really being honest with yourself, the only reasonable conclusion you can make is that motorcycle racing must cease to exist.

Same is true of investigating the medics and doctors with very strict scrutiny. If you're really honest with yourself, the biggest impediment to care is that MotoGP is not held in the basement of the trauma care facility.

What you end up with is a series of completely unreasonable findings given b/c you actually want to preserve the danger and thrill of racing a MotoGP bike whether you want to admit it or not. The result is a serious of changes that harm the sport and achieve the exact opposite of the desired result. The changes that are worthwhile result from internal investigation by the racing sanctioning body. In the case of Senna it was safety cells, and better run off, and HANS devices (eventually), etc etc. The lesson to be learned from the Tomizawa crash is that the riders are still woefully protected and the only thing they have to save them from blunt force trauma is a few millimeters of kangaroo leather and a bit of impact foam. Should this continue? An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure so why forsake prevention in order to obsess about the cure?

If any major changes are made, they should pertain to the protective gear.

I can't agree with the comment.

Racing is dangerous, better protective gear great, but changes to the post accident procedures are not symbolic.

I'm reminded of a debate a few years ago, well a row actually, between a British racing club and the governing body over the number of ambulances/emergency response units at certain circuits.

I forget the detail, but the gist was the club had worked out that in order for a race to be stopped and for a response unit to reach fallen riders within a medically critical time (I think that was 90 seconds or something) at certain points on some trackes required an increase in the number of units.

The prevailing attitude of some at the time was this was a waste of money, but thankfully the club's attiude was different and they made sure through thorough planning, training and practice, that fully equipped response units and procedures were in place to be certain a rider could be reached within 90 seconds (including race stop time) anywhere on any circuit they raced at.

What has clearly upset many people is that following Tomi's crash the same level of care and priority doesn't appear to exist in the world championship.

The comments that followed explaining it was quicker to man handle Tomi and Scott to the ambulances simply highlighted the lack of this kind of instantaneous, drill rehearsed response to a major incident.

And that bites.

Whether it could have saved Tomi or not is besides the point. We as racers and fans of racing expect the safety of the riders we love to watch to be backed up by the very best organisation and medical care.

If it is rarely needed because of track safety and better protective gear, all the better, but it should be there come what may.


Here is a simple illustration of the futility of trying to manipulate the cure:

Go back in time 10 years. Allocate the equivalent of 10B euros for a new Misano trauma facility. Hire the world's best to build and staff the premises and build it just outside of turn 11 so that the medics can actually run Tomizawa straight into the world's greatest trauma facility. What do you think? 50/50 chance he survives? Even if he lives, there is no guarantee that he would be healthy enough to race again, or that the psychological trauma would allow him to enjoy riding. No guarantee that the trauma wouldn't affect the quality of life in his later years.

Go back in time 10 minutes before the accident, and dress Tomizawa in a Red Man suit. I'd wager he'd walk away without serious injury.

One of those scenarios is a complete absurdity (the medical facility) that creates the illusion of safety and does nothing to prevent the trauma. The other is a mildly hyperbolic representation of something that could exist quite easily (impact-resistant riding suit). Which do you think is a better use of resources? Which do you think benefits humanity as a whole, not just the people who have access to hundreds of millions of dollars of the world's greatest medics, medical equipment, and medical transport technology?

Medicine is supplied by humans which means the treatment is not standardized and the effect of treatment on the individual is unpredictable. Safety equipment is a good. It is standardized and its effects are predictable.

It's boringly straight-forward, but the twist in the scenario is that one change fits the zeitgeist and one doesn't. People hate stuff that cramps their style, and they don't want safety improvements imposed upon them b/c they want to manage risk for themselves (legit complaint). They certainly don't want to wait for new riding suit technology, either. But, obsessing over the cure allows people to get run over as much as they want with very little imposition from the FIM. Changing the cure can be done almost overnight, and people need to believe that medicine can save them from things they cannot control.

Reason pulls one direction, humanity's wants pull in the other direction. One solution fits the zeitgeist, the other does not. If you play out the results of the various changes that are available to stop traumatic death (excluding canceling motorcycle racing), the course of action is clear. It's not easy to forget about medics dropping stretchers, but it must be done if traumatic death is actually going to be eliminated. Trauma care was helpful to Tomizawa compared to being left on the track. Given the cause of death, I don't think Butler can be held culpable for delaying medical treatment. The only thing you can say is that 3mm of kangaroo and a bit of impact foam is kind of primitive in this day and age of carbon fiber safety cells, crumple zones, HANS devices, and cars with 20 airbags. Progress is happening with riding gear, but the vital organs are still largely unprotected. Sad that Tomizawa has died and people still don't really notice.

Honda spend all of this money trying to show people how rad partial throttle fuel economy is. They spend millions to make a robot that walks. If they want a challenge, they should build a form-fitting indestructible riding suit with articulated joints and other crazy innovations. That would be a much better way to honor another tragic death of a Japanese rider on a Honda-powered vehicle.

You want this? Not that it isnt REALLY FREAKING COOL! But doesnt seem to fit on a motorcycle...
I kind of want one of these BTW.

But I understand your point. But one could argue that safety systems decrease the performance of machines. I prefer older muscle cars and their lack of electronics to new ones. I prefer older bikes without traction control and abs to new ones with.

Like you said. I access my own risk and decide if is worth it. If there was a new jacket or suit that performed just as good or better than the stuff I have and its just as or less intrusive than what I have, Id buy it. But if its more expensive and more intrusive than what I have, Ill probably pass.

How does a Red Man suit get confused with a motion-assist military exoskeleton? A Red Man suit is basically just hard armor for blunt trauma.

It was a mild hyperbole, but if you look into crash protection armor, you'll find that extreme mountain biking has better impact protection than MotoGP. Kind of sad b/c motorcycling is a slightly bigger industry and MotoGP bikes go about 5 times as fast. :-0

They've done a great job removing impediments and making things safe, but if they really want close fierce racing at every round with less risk of death, they need to protect vital organs from other bikes, imo.

Im not confusing one thing with the other. A Red Man suit isnt all that mobile. They could dress in bear protection suits or bomb squad suits. Im also using hyperbole. At least my exoskeleton is more mobile than a red man suit. Dont put it past a company to put a little something something passive into their product to help the rider if they can. even if little motors kept a rider from fatiguing early, thats a huge advantage.

But at the same time something came to mind.

If m/c companies start working towards safer crash protection, how long until the crash protection starts becoming "part of the package?" Im sure we all thought that some electronics wasnt a problem, but now its less about the engine package and more about the electronics package. How long would it take before a "safety system" becomes part of the package and an actual hinderence to the racing itself? Or like I said above, something that just gives a little edge to 1 guy and not the other.

That might not be a bad thing.

I know this much. That when I throw a leg over my bike, very bad things can happen. I can mitigate this risk by not riding the bike. Anything that happens to me after a crash is a DIRECT result of me having chosen to ride that bike. I can not, in good conscience blame people who tried to help me after I made the decision to put myself in that position. The responsibility will always lie with me. I guess Im a little old school in that kind of thinking. I mean i look around these days and all I see is "Who can I sue today?" mentalities.

And lets not forget that there is always a reaction to every action that is taken. It took the NHL 30 years to change the way and material they use to make the jerseys. Well the unintended consequence of this change was that now, instead of sweat and water being absorbed by the jersey and pads as it used to be, the new material wicks moisture away... Right into the gloves and skates! Very uncomfortable. So the players are changing equipment after 1 period instead of having the same stuff for the whole game! it seems like a silly argument, but my point is that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Im not arguing against better safety equipment. I just want to know that something important that we dont think about is not going to be sacrificed in the name of "progress."

If vitals are poor you must consider vitals before everything. Immobilizing the rider is of tertiary importance at best if vitals are bad. No question the race should have been red flagged, but considering the cause of death, it seemed obvious to me that the cornerworkers found Tomizawa with poor vital signs. They understood that not only did Tomizawa need to be removed immediately from a hot track, but he also needed trauma care as fast as humanly possible. There was a very good chance, red flag or not, that they were going to be making a fast break for a service road.

Imo, the medical treatment and the red flag are completely unrelated (luckily for race direction), but that doesn't mean that Dorna don't need to make some changes at race direction. Apparently, they seem to think that the red flag is for allowing home riders to restart the race after a first lap crash.

How preposterous is that? Questionable flag at IMS that conveniently let RLH back int he race. No flag at Misano when there is a dying incapacitated rider on the racing surface. Race direction is not culpable for Tomizawa's death, but they appear to be incompetent, commercial-minded individuals.

The whole issue that bothers me is not deploying the red flag.

Reason simple: Rider safety, human lives.

Whether or not an ambulance/medical vehicle needs to be sent to the track or the injured rider be stretchered away asap to medical facilities nearby, the race should be stop NO MATTER WHAT.

It simple left a bad aftertaste that the crashed riders on that fateful day seems to come second to the racing.

Ask the riders if they could give up the championship points in return for #48, I bet anyone regarded as a human would not even think twice.

Simple put, if someone needs immediately medical attention, red flag all racers to pit in, irregardless deployment of medical vehicles. The racing should be put aside because without these heros, there will be NO racing to look forward to. I, for one do not regard motor racing as gladiators fighting.

RIP #48 Shoya Tomizawa.

While I do care about eventually finding out exactly what went down with Shoya, I am still sort of numb over the whole thing.
I have never been this sad over the death of a person I have never met.

With the information that has come out since, and the conformation that poor Shoya wasnt breathing at the time, the actions of the marshalls and medics as far as his care was treated can now be seen as appropiate for the circumstances, i.e. get him into the ambulance and attempt to re-start respiration above any other concerns.
The issue I have with the situation was the treatment of Scott Redding by the marshalls. Scott was suspected of having a fractured pelvis hours afterwards - this was only found not to be the case after further tests and x-rays in the early evening. Yet he was physically manhandled onto a stretcher board although he was clearly both concious, and in a great deal of discomfort in the lowerback/hip/leg region, with what appeared very little concern for his condition, and certainly against all the advice and training I received during a 15yr period spent as a marshall and later quick response rescue operative here in the U.K.

It wasn't stopped. He fell and tumbled through the gravel, they picked him up quickly, waving yellow flags, and the session carried on as normal. 

Agree 100% with your responses David. The marshalls did all they could as did the medics in that split second.
Legal teams will want to make a meal of this,but it's an absolutely opportunistic event for them.
In spite of the best laid safety measures,it remains an arena,lethal sport by its very essence.
As long as motor racing exists we will have these incidents.
Was Shoya's life lost due to 'friendly fire'..? Definitely not ! They all played it on it's immediate merits with his welfare as the primary concern.
99.999 % of the critcs saw it on TV.Easy to replay it,sit back,confer and say this and that.
Personally,I was gutted and will sorely miss #48 on track,however we all know or at some stage knew the risks.

It seems a simple improvement would be to create guidelines stating if a participant is motionless or unconscious within the racing venue then racing activity should be stopped. It simplifies judgment calls and provides medical services the best situation possible. The doctors and marshals would have an opportunity to triage any critical injuries without fear of becoming casualties themselves. Since most crashes in this era usually have a rider that thankfully walks away, or has an injury but is reasonably alert and functioning I don't think it would lead to a notable increase in the number of stoppages....again thankfully these sort of incidents are relatively rare. If this rule was in place would it have changed the outcome? I doubt it, but we should learn from the past to improve the future.

That aside, I will miss watching Shoya ride and his happy demeanor on tv. Rest well.

We on the IoM seem to go through this scenario on local forums every time there is a serious incident on the Mountain Circuit. The criticisms generally come from local people opposed to the TT or MGP who have not had the benefit of seeing anything either live or on TV!

Having been involved in several serious incidents and fatalities as a TT motorcycle travelling marshal, I can say that it is not always easy to behave according to your training. When something horrible happens in front of you it can throw all of your senses out of kilter for a few minutes no matter how qualified or highly trained you are. These people are only human! The only thing that can prepare you is constant experience of massive accidents which as you can imagine is luckily hard to obtain and difficult to train for!

If officials and medics are put under the microscope for every action they take under great duress, you will find it more and more difficult to find anyone willing to take on the task. Nobody at Misano willingly or negligently caused any serious harm to anybody and I am convinced that everyone acted in the best interests of Shoya and Scott whether mistakenly or not. By all means review the procedures, training, etc. But having a witch hunt and proportioning blame is futile in this case!

Could it not be that both are appropriate? Red flag the race immediately. Give the medic a few more seconds to make a life or death decision. If there is no breathing those seconds will consist of the thoughts of how much time does the patient have till brain death, how much time will it take to get the medical vehicle there, how much time will it take to get the patient to the medical vehicle, is the medical vehicle adequate enough for this injury, etc.?

If these questions were answered adequately within the time frame that was given without the red flag being flown then a red flag would have been useless anyway. By all accounts he was respirated in the vehicle he was taken to. That would have been less than 2 minutes. He was moving to better medical care within 2 minutes from the time of injury. I can be the witness to the fact that that never happens on the street. The 'chase' ambulance that would have entered the track would not have done it any quicker and could have endangered other riders with a big slow moving (relative) van on the track.

A red flag would have helped Scott much more since he was conscious and breathing and more time and care would or could or should have been taken to assess his injuries to prevent further damages. Tomi's damage was immediately past the, "lets take some time to assess this", stage though.

So both a red flag for Scott and what actually took place for Tomi may have been the right call from race direction. We shall see, eh, I am sure those lawyers will make us all see the light.

It takes approximately 3 minutes for brain damage to set in from lack of oxygen. It took 2 minutes to get him to the ambulance. By all accounts it would have taken more than 3 minutes for the flag, he would have permanent brain damage.

So that whole notion of take a few seconds... You dont have a few seconds when dealing with lack of oxygen. Every second is vital to the person's survival and chances of not having brain damage. Define "a few seconds." 5? 10? 20? 3 minutes is 180 seconds. Thats all you have. 180 seconds before permanent brain damage sets in. How long did it take the marshal to get to him? 30? 45 seconds? Its not 3 minutes from when the marshals get there. Its 3 minutes from when a person stops breathing. 180 seconds is PAINFULLY SLOW when you are watching a clock. But in a crisis situation it happens in the blink of an eye.

Im not directing this at you specifically SloeGin, but a lot of people seem to have this notion that if only the marshals had taken a second to take a deep breath and not panic. They dont have that luxury in the heat of the moment when 1 second can be the difference between life, death and brain damage.

Far too many people are armchair doctoring this and have never come upon someone who wasnt breathing. A few arent, but most are. It is not an easy thing to come upon and be thrust into a position where the decisions you make in the next 3-5 seconds will determine the outcome of the tragedy. I have had the displeasure of having to perform CPR on a heart attack victim before. It is not pleasant in anyway. Ribs crack and break while pumping the chest, the look of panic in a persons eyes is unforgettable and will forever be seared into my brain. Most people freeze up when put in the situation.

The investigation of how can we improve is fine and warranted. This was an EXTRAORDINARY circumstance and I have no doubt that the marshals would have been just fine had they not been put there in that specific situation. The investigation for improvement is great. The headhunting is not. No good will come of that. You WILL have less workers, or your liability insurance for them will go up. At the end of the day, you wont bring Shoya back and more importantly, I dont think you will be able to prevent an accident like this from happening again. The accident was just far too brutal on Shoya's body.

by those of the legal profession. Anyone that watched video of the incident, along with confirmation of his not breathing at all, knows that he was gone as he tumbled down the track. Sorry, but it appears that simple to me. To go after a marshal that had obviously been instructed by the medical staff on scene to help move the rider because he slipped/stumbled in 3 inch deep pea gravel, is simply friggin' ludicrous. Someone is lookin' for a "scapegoat" on which to lay blame.

Not unlike Max, I'm also a marshal, been doing it for over 2 decades now. I've seen and attended to some very serious incidents on various race tracks in the US, including major injuries and death. He said it well, it can spin the hell out of you when it all comes down. Personally, it usually didn't affect me so much during the craziness of dealing with incident but immediately thereafter when I had a chance to think instead of reacting to what needed done.

The correct decision was made with Tomizawa. The time needed to get the red flag into effect and the ambulance moved doesn't happen in seconds. It was critical to try and get his respiratory back immediately.

However, I do think that the way that Redding was dealt with by the medical personnel was clearly wrong and must be corrected. I've said it on the forum as well as here, it's simply a matter of proper training. It also needs to be firmly decided and shown that the riders safety is first and foremost. Schedules and TV be damned.

As others have said. If you're going to start vilifying the track personnel over this type of stuff, it'll be tough to find marshals. In fact, you won't have any racing because you won't have marshals to staff the course.

AFAIK, it Italy, any death that is not deemed natural has to be caused by something. The legal authorities are involved in these incidents as a result. It was the same with Senna's crash.

... so long?

Investigation is one thing, and a good thing.  Years of digging for blood and gold in the court system is another thing altogether, and not a good thing.

Scott Redding and Alex DeAngelis ran Shoya Tomizawa over at speeds in excess of 100mph, but the Italian authorities need to launch an investigation to see if the guy who slipped while carrying a stretcher is criminally negligent.

Are the Italian authorities fit to run a popcorn stand?

Here's a word of advice to the prosecutor in Remini. If you want medics to save lives, don't investigate them for criminal negligence when they slip while running flat out on a lose surface to save a young man's life. Don't even be so stupid as to mention an investigation b/c threat of criminal litigation spooks the living hell out of ordinary people.

I'm stunned. Are there any mentally-competent officials who are available for comment after this tragedy, or are we stuck listening to the spineless political animals who measure their words in order to manipulate public discourse? The situation is simple. Tomizawa was tragically killed in a racing incident. No one is culpable, least of all the medics who tried to save his life. The sport is risky. Let the FIM, Dorna, the riders, and the insurance underwriters determine the necessary changes to alter risk.

In the meantime, replace every high-level official within race direction, and make sure that Dorna have absolutely zero commercial influence over the people in charge of safety. Whether it is merely coincidence or whether they really are diabolical buffoons to whom safety is the last concern, they have just demonstrated to the world that they will flag a race to help the hometown hero, but not to improve the quality of medical care for a dying rider. A red flag wouldn't have saved Tomizawa so no need for a witch hunt or an inquisition or criminal charges. This is a very simple issue of dismissing people without malice, and then making sure that Dorna are not even allowed to speak to safety personnel.

The danger can never be remedied, but the actions to improve safety procedure should be in place by the next round, including the dismissal of race direction personnel who clearly don't understand why the red flag exists.

Makes sense - I understand the concept of negligence. However, consistency must apply - if they convict anyone who was trying to help Tomizawa, then the same standard should be applied uniformly: if the prosecuting attornies ever slip and fall, then they should be stripped of the right to practice law, fined and imprisoned. Its only fair.

we are talking for the motoGP!!!
we are satisfied to see every sunday
the best riders with the best bikes
with the best mechanics,with the best doctors ...

all the riders have to think .
It is unbalanced.
to see all that professionalism to one side till the ...
something went wrong.
and as an umbrella to all this
time costs money ...
remember last year at the Indianapolis race ?

sorry for my english

Back when I was a scout pilot in the Vietnam war, we used to call situations like this a rat f***. People in elevated positions made judgment calls with human lives at stake with an eye more on their career progression than anything else. Lots of people died needlessly as a result. Fortunately, not as many as your typical cynic might claim. Believe it or not, most people under stress try very hard to do the right thing. Not the case, this weekend in MotoGP.

After seeing the crash live and watching the post race "medical announcement Q&A session) I could only sense that Butler and the other officials present were trying to cover their own behinds by making excuses as to why the race wasn't stopped. Butler's reply was "based on the information I receive"... excuse me, wasn't he watching the CCTV monitors himself? Surely he's experienced enough major crashes to know when a rider is a rag doll after OBVIOUSLY being struck by at least one other bike (De Angelis' was not as obvious in the footage) the race should immediately be stopped and proper on the scene medical assistance provided.

Given the number of red flags already thrown this season for the Moto 2 class (no wonder, 40 bikes with the same engine and and ridden by multiple world champions / GP winners... far too many) one has to wonder if the "order" hasn't come down from the top to avoid any further red flags if at all possible... Kinda hard to do that when you have a 10 bike pile up in turn 1 (overwhelming the manual labor's ability to physically remove the debris) but hey, when it's only 3 bikes and a couple small bodies...

While I'm not really happy about the free lunch, "there for the weekend" local guy getting sent up for manslaughter, I think this investigation should cover the entire management of the event itself. As has been noted countless times, there was no stabilization performed whatsoever, and given the fact that he was on the stretcher and being run through the gravel (and dropped) within a minute or less from the time of the accident I cannot accept a proper "determination" by a qualified medic was performed.

I do think there was really nothing that could be done for poor Shoya-kun. His time had already come (another issue altogether, about the actual time of death and it's affect on the following proceedings...) but I sincerely hope that heads (big high level fat ones) will roll and changes be made in how things are handled in the future.

Seeing Lorenzo in the conference still in his leathers was reassuring. The riders themselves need to press the issue (remember Lawson's boycott...) in order to force change.

I don't think a red flag would have saved Tomizawa ... the medical staff onsite immediately saw the seriousness of the situation and took the quickest, shortest route to the ambulance.

But a red flag IMO would have helped Redding if he'd had a spinal injury. He was rolled onto the stretcher ... a totally improper procedure and due to the fact that there wasn't an immediate red flag which would have given them time to ensure he was moved properly. THANKFULLY, Scott was not injured in a way that the style of movement would have exacerbated his injury.

The track marshals all did the best they could. Race Direction should have stopped the race when they saw the seriousness of this crash and let the onsite personnel properly assess the trauma level of each rider. I agree with the post above about Race Direction operating with the information they receive ... they must have seen the severity of this crash on the screens. Everyone watching knew this was extremely bad and expected a red flag.

I don't think anyone would mind a re-start to help ensure the safety of riders when they crash is such an obviously horrific way. The race would re-start and continue when it is safe to do so.

Sadly, none of this brings back such a bright and personable star like Shoya. But hopefully it leads to better practices in the future to help provide the safest environment to the riders who are constantly at the limit.

I think people have a misunderstanding about this investigation. Seems from a lot of comments here that people are under the impression that the track marshal that dropped Tomizawa is the one being investigated for manslaughter. I don't read it this way at all.

I believe the investigation is to look into the handling of the incident from the management side. I.e. why the race was not red flagged, etc. The medics were running through 3 inches of pea gravel while carrying a stretcher. The question, I believe, is if it would have been such a mad scramble if they weren't running from the danger of a live track behind them.

Would they have ran any slower or been any more careful with a red flag? Maybe not. After all, they wanted to get him to the respirator ASAP.

Anyway, I think these are the questions the investigation is looking into. And if they want to determine whether the drop (that was so horrible to watch...) was a factor in the death, I believe it's more to get to the question of why the marshals were running so fast in the first place than to try pinning a wrap on a guy that slipped.

Either way, I agree that clear guidelines need to come about as a result of this incident with regard to the handling of such incidents. I was absolutely horrified that the red flag wasn't waved. I mean, forget the debate over whether it would contribute to safety; how about a little respect for the downed riders! Even if it would have made no difference to the outcome, when there's that horrific of a crash, ONE HUNDRED PERCENT of the focus needs to be on those downed riders. And I agree that although the red flag might not have helped Tomizawa, it certainly would have helped Redding.

To me it seems simple. Conditions for automatic red flag:
1.) Rider or bike down and still on track surface.
2.) Critically injured rider on or off track surface.
3.) Big enough incident to overwhelm marshals.
4.) Oil on race surface.

Maybe there are a few more I'm not thinking of.

When Senna died, the authorities charged Frank Williams, Patrick Head, and Adrian Newey with manslaughter. They were not fully exonerated until 2005 after a lengthy process of appeals and altercations with aggressive prosecutors who existed solely to nail Williams F1 to the wall.

This is an international racing incident, not another opportunity for the Italian authorities to impose their version of bureaucratic hell on the people who were unlucky enough to be involved. If Senna's death is anything to go by, DeAngelis and Redding are going to be in court until well after they are retired, Eskil Suter will end up banned from Italy, Dunlop tires will be banned in Italy, and the medic will probably get jail time for slipping on gravel.

They will not file a report and then let it go b/c in Italy someone must be found guilty when there is a death. Unless they've changed the law since Senna, all hell is going to break loose if Tomizawa is not found to be at fault for his own death.

Either way it's fun time for the family.

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Tomizawa,

The country of Italy has found your son guilty of accidentally killing himself. You're welcome. --Remini Prosecutors Office

That comment about 'someone must be found guilty' is what I took away from the Frank Williams/Patrick Head situation and is what I was trying to say earlier.

Let me preface by noting that I am an Emergency Physician that works at a regional trauma center in northern California with 12 years of experience. I have been racing motorcycles as an amateur for 8 years.

Getting dropped was the least of his problems. It was piss in the ocean at that point. He had massive internal injuries and needed immediate intubation, c-spine stabilization, and a helicopter ride to the nearest trauma center, period. I concluded that just from seeing the live feed the moment it happened.

What they should have done is red flagged the race and attended to him on the track, secured his airway, started CPR if he was pulseless, protected his neck, and got him on a helicopter at trackside. They lost precious time, because it was a pipe dream to think that they could have done anything for him at Clínica Movil, because: if there was any chance of saving him, they lost it while fucking around at the track in some little glorified urgent care with an CT scanner.

The track doctor was trying to describe what was probably cardiac tamponade, something that can occasionally be addressed and taken care of by a trauma surgeon or an ER doc at the bedside in a pants around your ankles situation, thus turning things around. I've done it before myself. If his heart muscle was burst, he was a goner within 3 or 4 beats of his heart. It wouldn't have mattered what the hell they did. He needed to be somewhere where they could figure out which of the two it was, quick. One was a completed event, the other, a possible save.

The point is, none of this shit was going to happen at the track. Helicopter paramedics are the SWAT of prehospital providers and would have been more than adept at providing continued resuscitation efforts en route to the nearest trauma center. So Clínica Movil Medical Officer Claudio Macchiagodena's excuse that he needed resuscitate and stabilize him first, that he was too unstable for transport in a helicopter, so he sent him by ambulance to the closest hospital (that was not equipped to deal with trauma)...well, it's pure bullshit. Better he die there than in hands of Dorna after wasting so much time in their little medical toolshed. It would have been obvious incompetence to everyone at that point, not just the medical world. You have two choices in this type of situation, send him to where he'll die for sure even if he gets there alive, or send him to where he has a chance, knowing that he may die en route, because that's just the way it is. Macchiagodena made the wrong choice after making a wrong choice to begin with by delaying things in the first place.

In general, if a guy isn't moving after a get off like that, he should be attended to AS IF he had life threatening injury, no matter what, right there where he lay. So it's not the poor fucks who let him slide off the gurney momentarily (I saw the whole thing) who were at fault, it was Dorna: for not having their priorities straight. Rider first, broadcasting second.

They should have stopped the fucking race, scooped and ran, by chopper, to the place where he could get definitive life saving intervention. Any dumbass in the world of ER medicine knows that. I'll tell you who the D.A. needs to investigate: the Dorna doctors that made the stupid decisions that sealed Tomizawa's fate that day.

I am that veritable dumbass in the world of emergency medicine, having just started my first year of training at a level one trauma center. I couldn't agree with you more.

I was left stunned and full of "what ifs?" after reading the initial statement regarding the ridiculousness of Clinica Mobile's rationale for their decision making. They were hopeless, riding around in a van with a respirator until he died, over-reyling on their proud mobile clinic. He needed to be flown out of there under the care of experienced hands.

It may be time for a new change of medical directorship at MotoGp away from their traditional group of rogue orthopods. 'Faster' shows Dr. Costa as a mad scientist who saved Mick Doohans legs, but while gifted in that regards his track record seems to suggest a learn-on-the-fly style that simply doesn't work for emergency trauma. I remember just a few years ago his credentials being called into question after he erroneously dismissed a rider who ended up with an epidural hematoma. These riders deserve better than that.

Not wanting to dispute any of your comments, for I know nothing of these sorts of things, but seriously, what are the chances for anyone to survive TWO impacts by bikes travelling at 200+kmh?

Even if they did everything you say, by the time they had red flagged the race and got the helicopter on scene, surely he would have been dead anyway?

I don't know what happens in Italy, but the Motogp rounds I've attended at PI are all staffed by fully trained medical professionals (Doctors and nurses) who, AFAIK, are all sourced from the local trauma hospitals. Dr Costa might have all his stuff in the clinica mobile, but the actual incident response all comes from the good doctors and nurses stationed all around the circuit (in addition to the marshals)

How would the medics know, AT THE TIME OF ACCIDENT, without examining without medical intervention, that he would not survive ?

By bundling him on the stretcher (and also Scot, if he had any serious injury, which was suspected at that time) they would have further aggravated the situation.

PS- I have written in capital to stress the point

I was also about to write more or less the same thing , you beat me to it. Immediate assistance was the most vital thing.Race should have been red flagged

The way his body was flailing it was obvious he was at least unconscious. The way the marshal(s) hesitated it was obvious they were wary of speeding bikes and there were about forty of them.Marshal(s) are also humans how ever comitted they may be. How can they focus on the job if half the time they are looking over their shoulder.

Running on gravel it self is difficult and it becomes more difficult when four or more people have picked up a stretcher and rushing. Should we be surprised someone lost hold on it?( do they train for this situation?)

Neck needed stabilization as nerves supplying breathing muscles come from there.Fracture there and if its mishandled ...

Brain cells start dying within few minutes of being starved of oxygen,if he was not breathing, immediate intubation should have been done and ambu bag used to push air . They did not need to rush to the respirator/ventilator for that and waste precious minutes.

He must have had massive internal bleeding, IV line should have been placed and immediate fluid and/or blood products pushed to stabilize blood pressure/circulation.

I do not know whether doctor suspected cardiac tamponade, but if he did he should have enough skills( considering his Job profile) to release pressure on the heart on the trackside.

Should have been rushed to suitably equipped hospital. During this time they could have easily arranged to bring ambulance/helicopter on the track.

IMHO there was gross negligence by both doctor and race control or he was already dead and everything done was a sham!

I think you'll find that the poor fella was DOA at the ambulance/trackside ER. the rest was a sham. That said,look what they were reporting about the time frame of transporting him to a "Real" hospital. Also. I seem to remember poor Katoh being mishandled in his death in japan years ago,Wonder what the resulting investigation there led to?