BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - An Indiana University nursing student was seriously injured this week while practicing for the upcoming Little 500 bike race.
Lauren Gill's teammates on the IU Nursing cycling team say she was in the middle of a practice ride for the April 25th Little 500 race when she crashed her bike – flipping over and landing on her head and shoulders.
"As soon as we ran out there, being nursing students, we knew that we needed to stabilize Lauren's head," said teammate Chelsie Hafler. "It was very rushed and chaotic, and Kelsey is our other rider and is Lauren's sister and she was devastated. I mean, we all were all just dying inside."
Gill's teammates said the crash happened when she was caught in the middle of the pack and a cyclist in front of her slammed their brakes.
"We were out there in probably 10 seconds," Hafler said. "By the time we saw her hit, we were running to get to her, and me and Chelsie stabilized her."
The 23-year-old student was flown to IU Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis. Hafler said she hasn't spoken, moved or opened her eyes since the crash.
MONDAY UPDATE: Hafler is said to be semiconscious now and off a ventilator, but is still in critical condition.
"We just need prayers for the team, for her family and for her," said teammate Rachael Dickerson. "Mostly her."
Race officials are working to figure out what kind of event, if any, they might have before the race on Friday evening in honor of Lauren and her family.