Circus stunt rider recovers after crash
by TIM GALLAGHER
April 09, 2014
Tim Gallagher, Sioux City Journal
David Smith has been shot out of a cannon nearly 6,000 times over the past 17 years. His was the final act of the Abu Bekr Shrine Circus on Wednesday at the Tyson Events Center. The circus continues through
SIOUX CITY | A circus performer is recovering after a cycle crash at the Abu Bekr Shrine Circus in Sioux City on Tuesday.
Ben Veyna, 31, of Las Vegas, Nev., suffered a bruised shoulder when he slammed his cycle through a metal door at the east side of the Tyson Events Center. Veyna was going 35 mph at the end of a 75-foot jump when he struck the metal door.
"I hit my head and this is what happened to my shoulder," said Veyna, who pulled at the neck of his T-shirt to reveal a bruise on his right shoulder. "I went to the hospital (Mercy Medical Center) and they ran all the tests to make sure I didn't have any head or internal injuries. They told me to take the day off."
There was no damage to the cycle, he said. No spectators were hurt.
srael Alvarado, floor manager for the George Carden Circus, the act booked for the Abu Bekr Shrine's Sioux City performances , said his company was touched by the outpouring of concern fans showed in the hours following the mishap on a stunt that helps close the performance.
"The response in Sioux City makes us feel good, there is so much concern for Ben and our performers," Alvarado said. "There is risk involved in stunts like this, and people like Ben train and train for it. If it was easy, anyone could do it."
Alvarado, a former performer himself, said he understands Veyna's eagerness to get back in the show ring.
"Even though Ben said he was fine, we wanted to make sure a doctor told us so," Alvarado said. "His is a dangerous act. We want to make sure he's 100 percent."
Veyna showed up on Wednesday to support his fellow performers. He took great comfort in the fact Sioux City and area circus fans kept asking about the condition of a performer they'd never met.
"To have all this concern, it's really a homey feeling," said Veyna.
The rider said he was thankful to be wearing his safety gear and his helmet, which cushioned his body against the force of the impact. Mishaps like this don't happen often, he said.
"When I realized I was going long on the jump, I held the bike and leaned left," Veyna said. "I kind of let the bike take the impact."
The 64th edition of the Abu Bekr Shrine Circus at the Tyson Events Center continues through Sunday.
Staff writer Molly Montag contributed to this report.