Priestley Is Expected to Recover

Actor Jason Priestley Improving After Racing Crash
Actor Jason Priestley has temporary memory loss after a weekend racing car accident in which he broke his back but should recover from his injuries, his doctors said on Monday.
The Canadian-born Priestley, 32, best-known for his role as a teen heartthrob in the decade-long run of the TV show “Beverly Hills, 90210,” was able to speak his name to assembled family and friends and was taken off a respirator.
“He is becoming more aware of his surroundings. He can verbalize his name. He can recognize his family and friends. His neurological function is the key here,” said Dr. Stephen Stapczynski of the Kentucky Medical Center.
The memory loss from the moderate concussion Priestley sustained in the 180 mph crash should wear off, but he will need surgery to repair his broken back, the doctor said. He could move his extremities when asked, and apparently did not suffer any paralysis.
Priestley also suffered fractures to both feet and lacerations on the bridge of his nose, left cheek and neck. He was listed in serious but stable condition.
“He doesn’t have any injury that he shouldn’t recover (from),” Stapczynski told reporters.
“Obviously, we’re avoiding stressing him. We’re not wanting him to work too hard. … We’re letting him rest and recover.”
Later on Monday, Priestley was flown to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis, Indiana, which is renowned for its treatment of injured race drivers.
Priestley’s car, a smaller version of the type raced on the Indy car circuit, apparently ran over a patch of “oil-dry,” an absorbent material used to soak up oil from another car, during the final practice for the Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series in Sparta, Kentucky. The car turned sideways, then corrected and slammed head-on into the outside wall.
Priestley is an experienced driver who has raced competitively for 10 years and was ranked seventh in points after three races in the series, league officials said.
The 100-mile race was run later on Sunday, with series points leader A.J. Foyt IV taking the checkered flag. Priestley had qualified his Dallara-Infiniti on Saturday for a start next to pole-sitter Foyt.
Priestley won a 1998 Grand-Am race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, and has worked for ABC Sports as an announcer for Indy Racing League broadcasts.