Driscoll's condition upgraded to 'serious' Exercise rider is moved out of intensive-care unit Pimlico notebook

April 06, 1993|By Ross Peddicord | Ross Peddicord,Staff Writer

Exercise rider Kathy Driscoll is in "serious, but stable" condition and has been moved out of the intensive-care unit at Sinai Hospital.

But she is "not out of the woods yet," according to her friend, horse owner Phyllis Dixon, who said yesterday that possible paralysis is still a cause for concern.

Dixon said that Driscoll's sixth and seventh vertebrae were broken when she was thrown and was crushed beneath a horse at Pimlico Race Course during training hours Sunday morning.

Dixon and Driscoll's fiance, George Beltone, were at Sinai yesterday and consulted with doctors.

In addition to her back injuries, Dixon said Driscoll has a subdural hematoma (bleeding between her brain and skull), which might require surgery.

The operation was postponed yesterday but could be performed today, Dixon said.

Driscoll, of New Freedom, Pa., was moved from intensive care to a semi-private room yesterday afternoon. Her left wrist is broken, and that arm is hoisted in a sling.

Dixon and her husband, Bill, operate Mea Culpa Stable and have several horses in training with Ron Cartwright, Driscoll's employer.

Beltone said Driscoll is 40 years old, not 30, as previously reported. "As far as I'm concerned, she has ridden her last horse [on the racetrack]," he said. "She's had serious falls before, and I'm not going to let her ride again after what happened this time."

MOSHA investigation

Craig Lowry, chief of compliance for the Maryland Occupational Safety and Health Administration, said yesterday that it will take at least 30 days before MOSHA files a report concerning the electrocution of a horse and injuries to an exercise rider last week at Pimlico Race Course.

The horse, Fox Brush, died instantly. The rider, Richard Clayton Beck, was injured by the electrical current and was released after spending one day at Sinai. Beck said that tests showed he did not have heart, muscle or kidney damage.

Lowry said investigators have examined the auxiliary starting gate, where the accident occurred, and are interviewing "a whole host of people, such as the eyewitnesses."

If the investigation shows that there was negligence, violators could be fined up to $7,000.

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