I think in all of my years I have only heard of 2 people getting caught under a misfired gate, you're the 3rd, it is rare but when it happens it is brutal.
My family must be snake bitten or lucky. My daughter had the gate fall on her leg several years ago. Same thing it was a practice gate. The gate did not drop she flipped, then it dropped. The parent running the gate felt horrible. I was not mad or upset w/ the parent I could have just as easily been running that gate. Luckily she just got a bad bruise. This particular gate was old and heavy the starting hill was wood.
This year at a SQR my husband was on a gate that dropped half way, stopped, he unclipped, caught himself before going over. However, the gate was not a solid front gate there were open sections between each lane. He put his foot down on the ground between the lane. The gate then fell the rest of the way across his toes, then he fell. Needless to say he did not race that day but, we were lucky, he did not break anything just a bad bruise. This time the malfunction happened because someone plugged their trailer into the building which happen to be on the same breaker as the gate. When they turned something on in the trailer it caused the electricity to the gate to stop when they cut it off the electricty came back causing the gate to stop half way down. (not sure I explained that correctly or used the right technical terms) Once again this was a freak thing the T.O.,volunteers or visiting trailer owner had no idea these 2 things were connected to each other.
We were very lucky in both cases.
Considering how many gates are dropped daily around the country this is rare but if there is away we can increase safety I think it is something we need to look at.
It seems like they are always taught how to raise and drop the gate, but not how to stop it if there is an emergency
How do you do that once the 2nd part of the cadence has started? I have run gates at the track since we first started racing and I have no idea how to do that.
This post has been edited by Shelley B: Jul 8 2010, 07:53 AM