Austen Scroggins Ride Day
By Casey Davis
On the morning of March 25, tragedy struck as fellow racer and friend, Austen Scroggins, went down over a jump and didn’t get up. Austen went over the bars, hit his head after going into a full endo and was knocked out for several moments. After waking up, but still incoherent, Austen was air-lifted from Cahuilla Creek MX track to the nearest hospital. After a few anxious hours, the news of Austen’s injuries made it’s way to the track. Austen had bleeding on his brain in four separate spots. Three of the bleeds weren’t life threatening, but one particular spot was. Doctors decided that it would be best to medically induce Austen into a coma until the bleeding and swelling had gone down. After eight days in a coma, and a battle with pneumonia, Austen was finally awake and has been on the road to recovery ever since.
On May 13, Pala Raceway hosted the Austen Scroggins Benefit Ride Day to help support Austen and his family financially from the accident. Donations such as pants, jerseys and helmets were given from all of the top pros as well as Austen’s sponsors, and were then auctioned off at the event. Also a huge selection of donated gear was auctioned off on ebay throughout the days leading up to the event. Just to name a few, riders such as Ryan Dungey, Chad Reed, Dean Wilson, Brian Deegan and Kevin Windham were among the long list of donators. As a surprise gift to Austen, KTM’s Mike Sleeter and Willy Rodriguez from Turner Bicycles came together and custom built him a full suspension mountain bike to train with as soon as he is able to ride again.
Austen has been through an injury that most people couldn’t even fathom, and his spirits are just as high as they were before the injury. He’s been through a tremendous amount over the last month and a half, and still has a long road to recovery ahead of him, but in his mind the goal is still the same. This injury was just a minor bump in the road to Austen and his family and we look forward to seeing him back doing what he loves really soon.
Check out this quick interview with Austen. He tells us about the accident, the injury and his plans for the future.
Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Austen Scroggins, and I’m 19 years old. I’m from Murrieta, CA and I’m an amateur motocross racer.
How did you get into motocross?
My dad bought me a bike when I was six years old and started racing when I was about 11. I used to play team sports and hated losing because of the rest of the team, so I dropped it, started racing and have been loving it ever since.
How does it feel to have this much support from riders and sponsors during your recovery?
It’s pretty crazy seeing all of this just for me. After I had woken up from the coma, I started to read all of the things people said on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the Cambridge site that Mike Sleeter made about me. It all just blew me away. Also, even though my ride day is on Mother’s Day, a huge turn-out of people still came out here to support me. It really means a lot to have this many friends and sponsors helping me right now, so thank you very much!
What was the extent of your injury?
I had four spots on my brain that were bleeding. One on each side and two on the front of my brain. There was also bruising on the lower-half of my brain. I also suffered nerve damage, but that will get better over time. I can’t swallow at all, so I’m still being fed through a tube that comes straight from my stomach directly out of my abdomen.
Obviously you don’t remember the accident, but do you know how it happened?
I remember about 5 minutes up till the crash, but I guess I hit a soft spot on the lip of a jump, which caused my suspension to fully compress and that sent me into a full endo. I basically hit head first and was knocked out for about 7 minutes. I did wake up, but was very incoherent. After that I was flown to the hospital and put into a medically induced coma for eight days.
The big question is, do you want to ride or race again after an injury like this?
Yes, I’m really looking forward to riding again. Doctors told me about 6-8 months till my brain is fully healed, so I already can’t wait to get back at it.
How does your family feel about your decision?
My dad is all for it, he really can’t wait, and my mom supports whatever I want to do so they both have my back 100%. This isn’t my first big injury so we’ve been down this road before unfortunately, but they’re both excited for me to get back to what I love.
You had a great weekend at Mesquite prior to the accident, tell us how you did?
Yeah, I went up there to do the Loretta Lynn’s qualifier with a few of my buddies and had a good time racing. I went 1-1 in the 450B class and went 6-1 in collegeboy. I was in the lead but fell over in the mud. So it was a really good weekend!
What are your plans for your future?
As of now, my plan is simply get back to 100% health before I start riding again. So that’s pretty much how far I’ll be looking for a while.
Is there anybody you would like to thank?
Temecula Motorsports for putting on the event, KTM Orange Brigade, One Industries, FMF Intl., ODI Grips, Motorex, Verasty Clothing, Toyota of Escondido, DT1, Asterisk, Haven Sports Management, Spy Goggles, Dubya, Renthal Bars, Gaerne Boots, North County Yamaha and Ride MX. All of my sponsors have been great to my family and I through this whole thing. Thanks to Tagger and Volcom who also donated for the auctions. I’d like to say a big thanks to my family and friends who came to visit me in the hospital and during my physical therapy. It’s great to know the amount of friends I have during times like these.
Check out the photos below for some of the action from the ride day.