Injury par for the demolition derby course, organizer says

By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News

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PORT TOWNSEND — The demolition derby mishap that put an 18-year-old Chimacum man in the hospital is part of being a derby driver, the event’s organizer said Monday.

“Accidents happen,” said promoter Ed Neet, who himself suffered a broken nose while driving during Sunday’s exhibition that closed the 13th annual Jeffco Expo at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds.

“It’s what we all do and is part of the sport we love.”

On Sunday, Austin Bishop was flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle after the truck he was driving overshot the ramp of a vehicle jump and landed hard, witnesses said.

He was treated for a concussion, sources said.

Bishop was driving an orange Ford F-150 in the Tough Truck competition when the incident happened at the end of the course, witnesses said.

Bishop was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, where he was listed Monday in serious but improving condition by a hospital spokesperson.

Neet said he talked to Bishop on Monday morning, at which time Bishop said he expected to be released later in the day.

“He was stoked and said everything was OK,” Neet said.

“He told me that I got it worse than him, and said he’s ready to go again — but next time he’ll get a better harness system.”

Next time could be at the Jefferson County Fair, which takes place Aug. 9-11, during which Neet expects to organize and promote a demolition derby Aug. 11.

A demolition derby is a grown-up version of bumper cars, where contestants hit each other repeatedly and the last car still running is the winner.

Eric Anderson of Forks was the first-place winner at Sunday’s derby, while Randy Hann of Neah Bay won the Tough Truck competition.

The kids derby winner was Dakota Lester, 13, of Port Angeles.

Neet said Bishop was driving off an embankment repeatedly, “and each time he got more applause.”

“He was the big hit of the day,” Neet said.


Jefferson County Editor Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at

Reporter Arwyn Rice contributed to this report.

Last modified: April 29. 2013 6:02PM
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