Could ESPN Have Prevented Scary Crash?

ESPN snowmobile crashLost amid the highlights of the NFL Pro Bowl and the WWE Royal Rumble last night, ESPN’s own Winter X-Games had the most chilling video of the weekend. Freestyle Motocross rider Jackson Strong, the reigning Summer X-Games best trick champion attempted to repeat the feat during the snowmobile portion of this winter’s competition. Unfortunately for Strong, and fans, the attempt went horribly wrong, with the crashed snowmobile taking out at least one fan. Watching the video, it appears that the damage could have been far worse.

The question that has to be asked after the accident is whether it could have prevented. Strong had come into the event having logged only six hours of seat time on a snowmobile, not nearly enough to master the powerful machine. Additionally, most of his experience had been in a foam pit, a training ground where the impact of crashes is reduced by a well padded landing area. That means that Strong had virtually no real-world experience on a snowmobile before being allowed to enter ESPN’s signature event.