Fa­tal footy in­jury ‘ like a car crash’

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS -

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.

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