Farewell Dear Friend...

eric_photo.jpg

Eric Medlen, 33, who had emerged as one of the most popular young drivers in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, succumbed Friday afternoon to injuries suffered when his race car crashed into a guard wall during a Monday test session at Gainesville Raceway.

The talented Funny Car driver never regained consciousness. After being treated at the track, he was transported by ShandsCair helicopter to Shands at the University of Florida medical center where medical staff treated him for four days for a severe closed head injury.

"Eric suffered from severe traumatic brain injury with diffuse axonal injury, or DAI,” said Dr. Joseph Layon, Professor of Anesthesiology, Surgery and Medicine and the Chief of Critical Care Medicine at UF. " Survival rates associated with DAI are low.”

"On Tuesday, UF and Shands neurosurgery team performed a cranjectomy and removed the front portion of the skull to relieve pressure and attempt to improve blood flow to the brain," Dr. Layon explained. "Despite receiving the most aggressive treatment, Eric continued to have uncontrollable intracranial pressure. His body lost the ability to manage it’s salt and water levels and he began displaying the complicating factors associated with DAI.”

"That is when Eric’s family elected to honor Eric’s wishes and remove him from the artificial life support systems. Our hearts go out to Eric’s loved ones."

Eric was an amazing young man/friend and HUGE supporter and member of the Oakley family/brand. For all of you drag race fans I ask you take a moment write a quick note to the family and team to offer love and condolences. Let’s show our support and give some love back to the sport that has shown many of us a good time, stoked out our accounts and maybe just maybe made your life a little easier place with the smiles it put on your and your accounts faces.

goodbyeeric@castrol.com

These messages will be assembled, printed and placed in a scrapbook for his family and team.

I personally want to thank each and everyone of you for the love and support of the drag racing program over the years. With out all of your love the program could have never been as wonderful and successful as it is to date.

To read more about Eric and hear from the drivers that were closet to him you can reference the following sites:

http://www.nhra.com/2007/medlen/index.html

http://www.johnforceracing.com/

Donation and flower information can be found at:

Brownsburg-area Florists:
Queen Anne’s Lace
317-858-8170

Brownsburg Florist
317-852-4169

Gillespie Florist – 10th Street
317-273-1100

Donations:
McKnight Brain Institute
PO Box 100015
Gainesville, Florida  32610

DRAW – Drag Racing Association of Women
4 Hance Drive
Charleston, IL 61920
www.drawonline.org

Author

Staff Writer

Date

March 27, 2007