Josh Headford, a 20-year-old circus performer, had a tragic motorcycle crash Sunday, plunging 25 feet to grisly fall.
The stuntman is a professional motorcycle rider for Shiners Circus in Saginaw, Michigan. When he went up a steep ramp for a jump he was seemingly prepared for, he smacked into a wire, fell, and hit the ground very hard.
Fortunately for Headford, he survived.
Dion Mason, a spectator to happened to catch the entire horrifying event on video, was caught completely off guard.
"There was just shock and disbelief," he told Daily Mail. "We were just like everyone else, we couldn't see the extent of the injuries but we were shocked."
At, first, Mason admitted, he though the stunt was calculated, and part of the show.
"I was there with four kids, and at first we thought it was part of the show," revealed Mason.
However, the ringmaster stepped in soon after Headford smacked into the ground, assuring the audience that their rider was not pretending. He also asked that any medical professionals present report to the ring to help treat the injured rider, who fractured his wrist, elbow and shoulder in the crash.
"I need a doctor immediately," thundered the ringmaster, curiously keeping his showman's voice. "This is not part of the performance," he declared.
As for Headford, who is recovering, the accident has not deterred him from his determination to ride, no matter the consequences.
"[Riding is] all I do. It's how I make a living," said the 20-year-old.
Headford blamed the wire for his gruesome fall, saying that the guy-wire being prevented him from completing the jump as planned.
Brett Carden, the owner of Shiners Circus, stressed the responsibility of circus performers and staff to inspect and test all aspects of the stunts to ensure that these types of things don't happen.
"These are professionals, and they're supposed to check everything and make sure it's good to go," said Carden.
The owner admitted that much wouldn't be done to alter the routine, though. With a circus comes a certain amount of danger.
"What are you going to change?" asked the owner rhetorically.
To see video of the horrific accident, see below (WARNING: The content and language of this video is extremely graphic.):