Famous Indian motorcycle racer CS Santosh was put in a medically-induced coma after suffering a crash during the ongoing Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia. The incident took place on Wednesday when the 37-year-old was representing the Hero MotoSports in one of the world’s biggest rallies. He was airlifted to a hospital in Riyadh and has been kept under 24-hour observation.
“In an unfortunate incident, @cs_santosh22 suffered a crash in Stage 4 of #Dakar2021 today. He has been taken to a hospital in Riyadh. In the initial assessment, he seems stable. Join us in wishing him a speedy recovery,” Hero MotoSports said in a tweet.
In an unfortunate incident, @cs_santosh22 suffered a crash in Stage 4 of #Dakar2021 today. He has been taken to a hospital in Riyadh. In the initial assessment, he seems stable.
Join us in wishing him a speedy recovery. pic.twitter.com/ePbtRIsBcT
— Hero MotoSports (@hero_motosports) January 6, 2021
According to reports, Santosh has injured his head in the crash. He was conscious when paramedics arrived on the scene before he was rushed to Riyadh.
Hero MotoSport rider Paulo Goncalves died in a similar incident last year while competing in the Dakar 2020. Hero MotoSport withdrew from the rally following Goncalves’ death.
Santosh crashed around 135km into the stage on a gravel track and had to forfeit the stage. Santosh was attempting the Dakar Rally for the seventh time, which is considered the world’s most brutal off-road motorsport event. In 2015, Santosh became the first Indian to compete the race. He went on to participate in two more editions.
During the 2013 Abu Dhabi desert challenge, Santosh had a near-fatal accident after his Suzuki MX450X caught fire. He had suffered burns to his neck.