989 studios & The Jet @ IMI Complex

This past weekend I was invited to shoot with good friend Zach Zygowicz from 989 studios out at the IMI Motorsports complex with Jonathan Underwood aka The Jet.  The track was packed, everyone was having a great time. We managed to get some shots before the day ended in tragedy…

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The Jet scrubbing at IMI

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The Jet scrubbing at IMI



989 studios getting in tight for the shot

With all sports there are risks one takes. In the world of action sports the consequences are even higher. These athletes take impact after impact. A failure in these sports can result in life and death situations in a split second. It’s not like missing a free throw in basketball, or striking out in baseball. When you make a mistake at the highest level you are putting your life at risk.


While focusing on one section with the Jet, no one was paying attention to how long we had been out there. As he was coming up over a jump his bike locked up mid-air. There was nothing he could do to avoid impact. On landing he flipped over his handle bars, face first, into giant rut bending like a scorpion. He slid 10 feet before coming to a halt, collapsed, battered, and broken.



He couldn’t move, barely speak. It happened so fast. He broke 3 ribs, collapsed both lungs, puncturing one, fractured several vertebra in his neck and back, and his collar-bone shattered into 3 pieces. The paramedics told us that had he not been wearing his helmet and neck brace, he would be dead. It was the most surreal, eye opening, sicking experience to witness, photograph and be on the side lines for. As soon as he was in the ambulance, we packed up and went straight to the hospital. Surrounded by family and friends in the waiting room, we sat, anxious, nervous, scared. Waiting for any news from the doctors…



DSC_0734Late that night, he was out of surgery and in recovery. No one left his side until we got the all clear from the doctors stating he should be able to make a full recovery. A long, painful, recovery. We later found out what happened, we had been on the track so long that he ran out of gas causing his bike to seize up and stall…


As of today, John is fully recovered and racing again, and not just racing but winning race after race after race.

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  1. Christel February 24, 2014 at 11:27 PM #

    Love the pictures, joe! Still so sorry to hear and read about your friend, but I am so happy he is back home from the hospital. What a horrible fall that was. Praying for a safe recovery for him. Proud of you, Joe!

  2. Jason Labonte February 25, 2014 at 9:47 AM #

    Sick Pics man. Come out to the track some more.

    Pro rider #181
    Jason Labonte

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