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Willie Shoemaker - Tragic Accident

Famous Sports StarsHorse RacingWillie Shoemaker - Early Challenges, Exceptional Talents, Chronology, Related Biography: Jockey Eddie Arcaro, Setting Records - CONTACT INFORMATION

Tragic Accident

Ironically, Shoemaker left the dangers of the racetrack only to face paralysis after a single-car rollover accident in 1991. Following a round of golf and several drinks, Shoemaker lost control of his Ford Bronco on straight stretch of highway in San Dimas, California. He swerved across a nine-foot shoulder and rolled down a forty-foot embankment, where he was found with his chin on his chest, his head under the top of the steering wheel. With his spinal cord smashed, Shoemaker was left without control of his arms or legs. When Shoemaker's lawyer pursued several lawsuits seeking to prove medical malpractice and negligence by the State of California, it prompted a very negative public response. Shoemaker would not admit that alcohol played an important role in the accident, despite a bartender's testimony and a blood alcohol test of .13.

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