Fatal footy injury ‘ like a car crash’
QUEENSLAND Cup forward James Ackerman was illegally shoulder charged by opposing prop Francis Molo so forcefully he suffered a rare brain injury normally only seen in car crash victims, a court has been told.
Mr Ackerman was running “full pelt” at the North Devils’ defence after a kick- off when Mr Molo struck the Sunshine Coast forward with his shoulder four minutes into the June 2015 rugby league game. The 25- year- old died in hospital two days later from a tear to a major artery at the base of his skull and forensic pathologist Rohan Samarasinghe told the Brisbane Coroners Court yesterday he had only seen Mr Ackerman’s brain injury two other times during his 20- year career, both in victims of motor vehicle accidents.
Dr Samarasinghe said the tear to the internal carotid artery was most likely caused by a direct hit but could have also resulted from indirect trauma such as whiplash.
Molo, who last week joined the Townsville Blackhawks, is due to testify this morning.