Doug Landau's toboggan crash

Tomorrow’s post about a winter athlete who sustained a career ending brain injury (“TBI”) struck a note with me, as I and my family members have had several serious winter sports injuries. While this TriathlonTrialLawyer has never ridden in a bobsled or luge, I spent many winter days, when I wasn’t making money shoveling driveways, sledding, bobsledding, skiing and discing in the snows of Jersey and New England.

Injury lawyer Doug Landau's broken bones healed after his sledding crash
Injury lawyer Doug Landau's broken bones healed after his sledding crash

One incident stands out. My best friend and I had fashioned a “bobsled run” along our neighbor’s horse fence. We had used the natural snow built up along the fence as a “wall” and built up snow on the other side to create our own “Olympic Bobsled Course.” We were always concocting “Olympic Games” of our own, with unique events and creative scoring ! We did the run several times, and found that the higher up on the hill we started, the faster our top speed at the end. So we started our last run above the “tube” that we had made and the sled had created. Our sled took off, with me in front, my feet between he chains, and instead of following the tracks, we veered outside the course and smashed into our neighbor’s horse fence. My friend’s body weight slammed into me, and our combined mass broke the bones in my lower leg. Only I did not know it at the time ! The fence was electric, and I received a jolt of enough electricity to stop a horse. When my buddy ran for help, I rolled off the sled and buried my leg in the snow, so it was doubly “numbed.” I even got back on the sled and rode down to get a lift home ! That week, we thought it was a bone bruise, and I was pushed around the house i a chair that slid over the smooth carpet. When I finally tried to stand, the leg would not support my weight and I fell. We then went to see an orthopedic surgeon, and I was eventually casted, given crutches and healed over that winter.

So what became of the 2 “geniuses” who got into this crash ? One became a lawyer for people injured and disabled as the result of broken bones, crashes and sports injuries and the other a superb doctor, scientific researcher and the Chief of Rounds at Brown University Hospital.

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