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27th of May 2017


Aric Almirola 'pretty pissed' media took graphic photos of NASCAR crash

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Injured Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver Aric Almirola is upset with media that shot photos of first responders cutting the 33-year-old out of his car after the violent three-car crash that broke his back last weekend at Kansas Speedway.

In the immediate aftermath of the incident, photos hit social media and media outlets of a grimacing Almirola getting lifted out of his Richard Petty Motorsports No. 43 Ford Fusion. Almirola had suffered a fracture of his T5 vertebra. He took exception to the sensationalism of what could have been a much worse injury.

NASCAR crash Video: Huge crash during NASCAR race at Kansas

Aric Almirola needed to be cut from his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series car and carried out on a stretcher following his involvement in a violent three-car crash on Lap 200 of the Go Bowling 400 on ...

"I’m pretty pissed off about it, to be honest with you," Almirola said on Forday during a press conference at Charlotte Motor Speedway. "I’m glad you asked. I wasn’t gonna talk about it unless somebody asked, but I think that is extremely unprofessional of them. They have no medical expertise whatsoever. They had no idea what was wrong with me. They didn’t know if I was bleeding to death. They didn’t know if I was paralyzed. They didn’t know anything, but they used it as an opportunity to go snap some pictures of me.

"They were literally 3 feet away from the accident, hanging through the catch fence with their shutters running wide-open the entire time. I’m pretty upset about that."

Almirola said it was important that he talk to his family before any images were released. He didn't think it was fair to them to learn about his condition from the photos shared on the broadcast before hearing from the driver in person.

"They’re trying to get in communication with the staff at the racetrack and our team, so they’re finding out more through looking at images online or during the race broadcast than our PR department or people at the racetrack getting back to them, and I just think that’s wrong," he said. "I was obviously in a very vulnerable situation and I’m disappointed, to say the least.

"If they got $500 for selling it for USA Today, I hope they enjoy that $500 because they had no idea when I got pulled out of the race car if they were gonna see a pool of blood all over my uniform. They didn’t know if my legs were going to be attached, they didn’t know any of that and they were just sitting there with their shutters flying wide-open. So I just think it’s extremely unprofessional."

By Matt Weaver

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