South Bend BMX star injured in accident at tournament

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Local BMX biking star Brett Banasiewicz was injured after a crash while practicing for the Van’s Invitational in Virginia Beach, Virginia, on Thursday.

Reports say 17-year-old Banasiewicz fell around eight-feet onto his head while practicing a maneuver.  According to his team manager Banasiewicz didn’t suffer any spinal injuries and another BMX rider reported that Banasiewicz squeezed the hand of one of the medics who treated him after the accident.  However, he was unconscious for about two-hours after the fall.

Banasiewicz is a South Bend native and one of the rising stars of the BMX world.  Last year he used his own money to build The Kitchen Skate Park at 3300 Sample Street.

"Just to give back to the community basically and have a place for myself and my friends to ride," Banasiewicz told ABC 57 when the park opened.

"I was actually working here and his dad was in his office and he just came out all upset saying that Brett got knocked out,” recalled Glenn Salyers, a longtime friend who works at The Kitchen. “Then like 15-minutes later he said he was flying out there."

Salyers and Rodney Bowen, another friend of Banasiewicz, said they had spent much of Thursday afternoon glued to Twitter waiting for updates from the BMX community about Banasiewicz’s condition.

"I was pretty upset,” Bowen said about his feelings when he first heard about the accident.  “Especially when it's your best friend, it's like your brother being hurt."

As of late Thursday night Banasiewicz was under sedation while doctors monitored his brain activity.

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