The father of Ulster road racer Seamus Elliott is praying his son will pull through after he was seriously injured in a crash at the Faugheen 50 meeting in Co Tipperary on Sunday.
The 30-year-old Ballymoney man came off on the first lap of the Open Superbike race in Carrick-on-Suir and struck a tree.
He was airlifted to Cork University Hospital by helicopter, where he is being treated for head injuries.
On Sunday night, his father Danny told the News Letter he witnessed the incident and was the first person to arrive by his son’s side moments after the crash.
“The doctor told us the next 24 hours would be crucial.
“Seamus has bleeding on the brain, a neck fracture, a broken hip, two broken knees, broken ribs and a possible punctured lung, but it’s the head injuries that are causing the most concern.
The medical team were there in seconds and they were really brilliant. Everyone here at the hospital has been brilliant with us as well and we’re just hoping it will turn out for the best.
“He was airlifted by helicopter to hospital in Cork and when we arrived there the doctor told us the news wasn’t good.
“The whole family drove down and are here now so we’re just keeping our fingers crossed,” he added.
“He crashed not far from the start-line and I saw everything that happened. “He was motionless when I got to him and he was having problems breathing.
“I said, ‘son are you all right?’ But there was no response at all.
“He made a good start but then it seemed as though he touched with another rider going into the corner and he went into a tree,” Mr Elliott said.
“I was only a few hundred yards away so I ran as fast as I could towards him. Unfortunately it’s one of those things and it’s just a case of wait and see for a couple of days to see if he pulls through.
“The medical team were there in seconds and they were really brilliant. Everyone here at the hospital has been brilliant with us as well and we’re just hoping it will turn out for the best.
“It’s just such a pity and Seamus was really looking forward to his home race at Armoy - he couldn’t wait for it.”
A frontrunner at the Irish National road races, Elliott claimed a major win last year at the Southern 100 on the Isle of Man in the 600cc Supersport class.
He impressed again at the same event earlier this month, finishing in fourth place in the Senior race and sixth in the headline Solo Championship race at the Billown course, which was won by Michael Dunlop.
A serious crash also occurred at the Faugheen 50 meeting during practice on Saturday, involving Brian Coomey from Cork and Noel Carroll from Co Laois.
Coomey was also flown to Cork University Hospital and is being treated in intensive care, although Carroll’s injuries are understood to be less serious.