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Injured circus performer still in critical condition

By Susan Bahorich, sbahorich@wdbj7.com
Published On: Feb 03 2014 04:16:21 PM EST
Updated On: Feb 07 2014 02:24:28 PM EST

A circus performer who crashed after a stunt went wrong Saturday at the Roanoke Civic Center is still in the hospital.

ROANOKE, Va. -

A performer who was injured while performing a stunt during the circus Saturday at the Roanoke Civic Center is still in the hospital.

Julian Gomez is still in critical condition, according to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital.

Gomez was hurt after he lost control of the motorcycle he was on and crashed into a concrete wall. The accident happened at the end of the circus.

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Story from Feb. 3, 2014

A circus performer who crashed after a stunt went wrong Saturday at the Roanoke Civic Center is still in the hospital.

Julian Gomez is in critical condition.

Witnesses say Gomez lost control of his bike before crashing into a concrete wall. In the moments after the crash, the Civic Center was dark except for a spotlight on the center ring.

In the aftermath, Gomez is taken to the hospital.
His bike left lying on its side.

"He has some head injuries and he came out of the coma and they're keeping him sedated in that he will not come out of it until they can get the pressure off," explains Bobby Boitnott of the Kazim Shriners.

Boitnott, the Chairman of the Kazim Shrine Circus, tells WDBJ7 that the Shriners have worked with The George Carden Circus for more than a decade and there haven't been any issues.

In fact, he says this is the first problem in the circus' 56-year history.

"Accidents like this - it's a human versus mechanical equipment and this young man, just one time, just 22-years old, just made the wrong jump and landed the wrong way," says Boitnott.

Witnesses tell WDBJ7, after the crash people were forced to maneuver the Civic Center in the dark. The General Manager disagrees saying there were lights.

When asked if the Civic Center plans to make any changes in the future, here's what GM Robyn Schon said:

"We are confident in the policies we have in place for safety, security, and crowd management. We plan each event carefully and work with promoters to (ensure) that local codes and regulations are being followed."

In the meantime, the Shriners tell WDBJ7 donations are being taken for Gomez.

The Shriners are trying to find a place for his family to stay while he recovers.