Former NHRA driver returns to Lucas Oil Raceway after car accident forced amputation of his legs

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BROWNSBURG, Ind. — A horrific car crash nearly took the life of an Avon man who spent a decade racing as an NHRA Top Fuel Eliminator driver. Despite severe injury, that man is back at the track for this weekend’s NHRA US Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway.

Dominick Lagana spent ten years as a driver before the accident. A year ago, his car spun out on a dark state road slamming into a pole. He was knocked unconscious as the car caught fire. A passenger in the car was also ejected from the vehicle. A friend was able to pull him out, but not before 50% of his body was severely burned.

“If we don’t get rid of that burned tissue, that injury can make him severely sick,” said Dr. Brett Hartman who treated Lagana at Eskenazi Hospital.

“I had a pretty significant brain injury,” which Lagana says leaves him with no memory of that night. “It’s crazy. I was in a coma for a month and a half pretty much, and the last two weeks of the coma, I was on such high medication that I don’t remember much of that.”

Doctors were forced to amputate above both knees and had to amputate one of his thumbs. When he woke up from the coma, he began down a long rehab path that now has him walking on prosthetics.

“Much more difficult when it’s above the knee,” explained Dr. Hartman, “When you lose that knee joint, it takes a significant amount of more energy to learn to walk again.”

Lagana was in a coma for so long that he missed his wedding date. When he woke up, he told his fiance that he would get healthy, and find a way to walk down the aisle with her. Their wedding is later this month.

“By grace of God, I have been walking for a few months really good with a cane,” detailed Lagana, “As I’m walking better, I can do more physical work and physical labor.”

While he may not be driving, Lagana is back at the NHRA Nationals this weekend with Torrence Racing. He is working on the crew lending his expertise and tinkering with the cars.

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