Cindy Vickers came within an eyelash of realizing every mother's horrifying nightmare --to watch helplessly as her child is seriously injured.
The drama she hoped she'd never have to face began to unfold Sunday morning during a running of the Grand Canyon State motocross racing series, being held at Canyon Raceway near Lake Pleasant.
Competing in the teen-age 125cc motorcycle competition was Vickers' son Jimmy -- a youngster who has shown remarkable promise as a racer.
With Mom videotaping the race, things were going well for Jimmy as he powered his motorcycle around the circuit dirt track. Just as the race wore down to the final stages, he was alone in third place.
Approaching the biggest hill on the course, known as "Suicide" to the riders, Jimmy zipped around another rider in a nifty racing move. But just over the pinnacle of Suicide, Jimmy's motorcycle -- running at almost top speed -- flipped over and to the side, sending him flying through the air.
Mom, viewing the accident through the eyepiece of her video camera , could see the commotion but couldn't tell immediately which rider was down..
Suddenly, she realized it was her son.
"I could see him crawling off the track trying to get out of the way so he would not be hit by the riders behind him," she said.
The horrifying sight sent chills tingling through her body. "That is an awful feeling, the worst a mother can have," she said.
After rushing to his aid, Mom learned Jimmy had luckily escaped serious injury and had incurred only a sore back and tail bone.
After a visit to the doctor, he was declared OK and fit to ride again.
His spanking new Kawasaki motorcycle, however, was not as lucky. "It bent the side frame, fender and air box," Cindy said. "It'll take a lot of money to fix it."
Jimmy plans on rebuilding the cycle, hopefully in time for the next Classic series race, which will be held April 11 at Ocotillo raceway near Eloy.
The harrowing episode of Jimmy's accident was not the only incident that has slowed his racing ambitions in 1999.
Racing in Globe on March 6, the motor on his new cycle froze during the early stages of the first heat. Scurrying to find a way he could remain in the competition and not lose series points, Jimmy's father phoned family friend Richard Edgar in Payson.
Edgar said he'd be glad to truck Jimmy's spare motorcycle to Globe but was told time was a factor --only two hours remained until the next heat race. By the time Edgar got to the Globe track with the spare cycle, only seconds remained until start time.
"He (Jimmy) had just enough time to put on his chest protector, helmet, and dash to the starting line," Cindy Vickers said.
Riding hard and fast, Jimmy finished third.
On day two of the Globe race, Jimmy took second place after passing two riders in the final going. The second heat was postponed because of poor weather and track conditions.
Remaining on Classic tour
His luck has been a tad shaky as of late, but Jimmy says he plans to remain on the Classic tour and hopefully ride his way to more top finishes.
Jimmy says he wants to remain competitive because his sponsors, Payson Athletic Club, NAPA Auto Parks and Valley Kawasaki, have been so supportive.
Mom says continuing his racing passion is OK for now, but her hope is for no more accidents. "I don't want to see or feel that happen again -- that was horror."