'Spider-Man' Stuntman Describes Back-Breaking Fall
By PopEater Staff Posted Jan 3rd 2011 08:45AM
"The last thing I remember was, like, uh, just going, 'Oh, God,'" Tierney tells New York's WCBS-TV in an interview airing Monday night. He describes having to think mid-fall about how to minimize his inevitable injuries.
"I was falling, and then I saw, once I hit the darkness of the stage, I had to just turn it real quick, so I wasn't going to fall on my head and I crashed on my back," he says.
Tierney fell on Dec. 20 when a cable snapped during an aerial stunt -- the musical's fourth accident since October. The performer had surgery the following Friday and is quickly recovering from his injuries -- including four broken ribs, a hairline skull fracture, a bruised lung, cracks in three lumbar vertebrae, broken bones below the elbow and internal bleeding.
He spent Christmas weekend in the hospital, with his brother and mother by his side. Tierney's father told the Associated Press that the injured aerialist can't wait to return to his role.
Strict new safety measures have been implemented among the cast and backstage crew since Tierney's shocking accident.
Those new measures, focusing on a three-step process to ensure proper harnessing before each stunt, were announced two days after the accident. The operator or stagehand will fix the latch to the harness of the performer. Then, another stagehand nearby will verify that it's attached properly. That second person will then be in contact with the stage manager to verify the measures have been completed.
Natalie Mendoza, who was set to play Spidey's nemesis, dropped out of the show last week, a month after suffering a concussion when a piece of equipment dangling from a rope backstage hit her on the head.
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