IndyCar’s Robert Wickens Confirms He’s Paralyzed From Waist Down After Pocono Crash

The 29-year-old sustained major spinal damage, among other injuries, as a result of the August wreck.

byCaleb Jacobs|
Racing photo

Robert Wickens, the star IndyCar rookie who amazed faithful open-wheel fans with his talent and immediate knack for competition, has confirmed that he's paralyzed from the waist down after his tragic crash at Pocono Raceway in August. 

Immediately following Wickens' contact with Andretti Autosport's Ryan Hunter-Reay and subsequent crash into the track's catch fencing, he was transferred to the hospital and treated for significant orthopedic injuries. An official list was then released by Wickens and his team, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, with the following damages confirmed:

  • Thoracic spinal fracture
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Neck fracture
  • Tibia and fibula fractures to both legs
  • Fractures in both hands
  • Fractured right forearm
  • Fractured elbow
  • Four fractured ribs
  • Pulmonary contusion

On Thursday, Wickens took to social media once again and captioned a video of him at a Denver medical facility, saying: 

"Did my first slide transfer as a paraplegic today. My upper body is getting stronger and stronger and hopefully I’ll be able to do it unassisted soon. I’ve only been posting videos of the small movement in my legs, but the reality is I am far away from walking on my own. Some people are a bit confused with the severity of my injury, so I wanted let you know the reality of it. I’ve never worked harder for anything in my life, and I am giving it all I’ve got to spark those nerves in my legs."

Wickens has undergone constant rehab over the past two months, now at the Craig Hospital in Colorado which specializes in spinal injuries. Updates have been released periodically with the Canadian making his first public video announcement on social media prior to the IndyCar season finale at Sonoma. Videos of Wickens working to recover from the crash have attracted the adoration of essentially everyone across the racing community with many sporting #GetWellWickens on their social platforms.

Wickens remains outwardly positive of his situation and has continued garnering well wishes from fans and fellow racers alike.

Despite not competing in the last three races of the season, and the Sonoma race being worth double points, Wickens finished tied for 10th in the 2018 IndyCar championship standings. He had top finishes of second at Phoenix and Mid-Ohio during his rookie year of competition.