Mat Hoffman and Dennis McCoy are legends of BMX. Two of the biggest legends there has ever been, and two names that wrote themselves deep in the history books a long time ago – but sometimes, even the best get it wrong.
This horrifying footage comes from Hoffman’s back garden, where the homeowner was having a session with McCoy on his giant backyard half-pipe. The two soon collided, leaving both with serious injuries that, being the big-balled, BMX badasses they are, they tried to hobble away from.
It soon emerged that this was a whole lot more serious than either could imagine though, Mat fracturing his pelvis – which explains why he was on crutches with a gnarly bruise when we last interviewed him – and Dennis fighting for his life after his bars sliced him open near the groin and just missed his artery.
The doctor later told the rider that had the cut been a quarter of an inch deeper, Dennis would’ve bled out on the bottom of the ramp. We’ll leave it up to the words of Hoffman to tell the rest of the story, and beware with the video – there are some very, very graphic images of Dennis’ near-fatal wound.
Hoffman: “Dennis McCoy came down to ride and I talked him into jumping out of a plane with me. It was most amazing day until… We got back to my house and jumped on the vert ramp for a quick session before Dennis hit the road.
"We were doing doubles on 7/20 for the first 720 Worldwide BMX Day. Well… I messed up and head on collided with DMC. Nearly killed him, seriously. I bruised and fractured my pelvic, but I wish I took more for Dennis. His bars hit me and stabbed him in the side and sliced him open, like a machete. It barley missed his artery, which was hanging out.
"We were both on the ground asking if each other could get up and how our injures were. Neither of us could move. Then Dennis noticed his gouge and said, I have to go to the ER. So I got myself to my feet and climbed back on the ramp. Once I got there I could barely move anymore.
"We were baking in the sun, so Dennis got up, walked off the ramp somehow, for water. He slowly got to a chair, sat down, gulped some water and said we have to get a car and our phones are on the deck. I dropped into survival mode, I sucked it up, climbed each deck, got our phones and crawled to my nearest car, which happen to be a little Japanese mini truck that’s right hand drive with a left shifter.
"I got in, drove down this dirt hill to get D and realized I couldn’t lift my leg to the clutch to shift, so I kept it in first. By this time he can barely move and the car I chose didn’t make it any better. After a few painful moments Dennis made it into the truck and I got it in gear and we were off to the ER.
"Dennis keeps making me feel better by being in the best spirits cracking jokes about the absurdity and ridiculousness we were experiencing. I’ve been cursing myself out since I first saw we were headed into each other.
"Dennis and I get to the hospital but realized I couldn’t get out of the car now, but then I know D can’t because he’s way more injured than I. Nobody comes out of the hospital to help, so I hobble to a wheel chair, than use it as a walker to get Dennis. It looked painful transferring from the truck to the wheel chair.
"After a few screams I got D in the chair. Now I use him as a walker and hobble up to the front desk and registered. I don’t have my ID, but I was admitted for a collapsed lung recently so no ID needed.
"The doctors don’t know what to do with Dennis. It’s too severe for them to touch it. So they have to call a specialist from the main hospital to come down for emergency surgery. I go in for xrays. I come back and text Dennis to see where he is. Then my phone dies.
"He sends a message to me through a nurse and I find his room. I’m scared for D, he’s worried about me and the Doctors are standing around shaking their heads at Dennis’s wound, which makes me more nervous. I look at D and he says “Sprocket Jockeys 4 life" I look at the clock and look at D and say, “guess what time it is?" It’s 7:20p and it’s 7/20/2014. This is how we brought in our first Worldwide BMX day."