Vitor Meira fractured Vertebrae

Vitor Meira’s hellacious crash in today’s Indianapolis 500 has left him with two fractured vertebrae in his back according to a Twitter report from The Indianapolis Star’s Curt Cavin:

“Vitor: Fractures of the L-1 and L-2 vertebrae. Plan for now is no surgery. He’ll wear a brace for a while.”

Meira, who drives for A.J. Foyt Racing, was involved in a wreck with Luczo Dragon Racing rookie Raphael Matos on Lap 174. Heading into Turn 1, Meira’s No. 14 car locked wheels with Matos’ No. 2 car, causing both to go into the SAFER Barrier.

Meira’s car hit hardest, then went on its right side and skidded along the barrier backwards before coming to rest right side up near Turn 2. After Matos’ car hit the wall, it eventually stopped rolling in the middle of the track.

Matos suffered a bruised right knee, but was cleared to drive. Meira was sent to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis after he complained of lower back pain.

Reports near the end of the race said that he had movement in all of his extremities.

UPDATE: Meira’s broken vertebrae have been confirmed by the Associated Press. In addition, we have a Matos comment on the quote sheets:

“I feel OK. I hope Vitor is OK. It was just an unfortunate incident. We had a good car, and the team had worked so hard. It was just unfortunate to end like that. It’s disappointing and frustrating. We just need to regroup and get ready for Milwaukee.”

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