Former NASCAR driver Jeff Purvis broke his neck and back in a crash on I-65 in Tennessee Saturday, after his racecar transporter blew a tire, crossed the median, struck an oncoming car and burst into flames.
Purvis and his crew were en route to a Dirt Late Model race at Alabama's Talladega Short Track when the crash occurred. He was airlifted from Cullman Regional Medical Center to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, reportedly with fractures in his neck and back, broken ribs, and cuts and bruises. Seven people, including Purvis' wife and 15-year-old son, were injured in the crash, three of them seriously. A State Police spokesman said none of the injuries were thought to be life-threatening.
Purvis was seriously injured in a 2002 crash at Nazareth Speedway, sustaining severe head injuries that kept him out of racing for two years, and effectively ended his NASCAR career. Bryan Baggett, Vice President of Purvis' sponsor, StormPay.com, said of Purvis, "Based on his injuries years ago, he probably shouldn't be doing this anymore. But he's not your average guy. He's a little tougher than your average guy."
UPDATE: Purvis is now at home in Clarksville, TN, beginning his recovery from serious injuries suffered in a Saturday highway accident near Cullman, AL. Purvis has fractures of his C1 and C5 vertebrae in his neck, compression fractures of the T2 and T6 vertebrae in his back, a separated sternum, and a gash in his head that took 24 staples to close. He has seen pictures of the aftermath of the accident and says he is very thankful that no one lost their life. Purvis’ transporter blew a left-front tire while traveling southbound on I-65 near Cullman, AL at 3:15 p.m., swerved across the median into the northbound lane, struck another car, and then hit the guardrail before overturning in a ditch. The six occupants of the transporter vacated the vehicle just seconds before it caught fire, and became engulfed in flames. The transporter then burned to the ground, destroying everything inside, including the race car, and all of the parts and equipment.