North Dakota stuntman known as 'Flying Farmer' crashes on jump

A car crashes while attempting a jump
Daredevil John Smith, known as the Flying Farmer, crashes his Chevrolet Caprice while attempting a jump on Saturday in Makoti, N.D. He suffered unknown injuries and was flown to a Minot hospital.
Hunter Andes | Bismarck Tribune via AP

The first car jumping attempt in five years by North Dakota's version of Evel Knievel ended in disaster when the car driven by the man known as the "Flying Farmer" corkscrewed off the ramp and rolled.

Authorities said John Smith, 57, was alert after the crash Saturday at a rural gravel pit in western North Dakota and that he even tried to pull himself out of the car while talking to rescuers.

He was eventually cut out and taken by a medical helicopter to a hospital, according to firefighters. The extent of his injuries wasn't known.

The crowd of about 300 spectators went silent when Smith crashed. Family members, including his daughters and wife of 34 years, Melinda, reacted emotionally, running to the mangled car, the Bismarck Tribune reported.

Smith's previous jump was in 2016, when he rose over towering flames to clear a burning trailer.

Smith, who farms near Makoti, in western North Dakota, said he was inspired by the motorcycle daredevil Knievel while growing up. He has gained notoriety for his jumps at fairs and other attractions across the state. He has performed more than 100 jumps, even jumping on a frozen lake.

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