IndyCar Series driver James Hinchcliffe, who suffered life-threatening injuries during an Indianapolis 500 practice crash last month, said Wednesday he has no memory of the incident despite being conscious during the wreck's aftermath.
Speaking to reporters during a teleconference, Hinchcliffe said he was both "unlucky" to be in the accident but "incredibly lucky" to survive it, despite suffering severe thigh injuries and a broken pelvis.
During the May 18 crash at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, a broken wishbone section of the car's suspension pierced the vehicle's tub and lodged into Hinchcliffe's left leg, causing massive blood loss.
"I am incredibly lucky, not just for the safety team being there, but as the doctors will tell you, if that piece had been five millimeters in a different angle or different direction, it might not have been a survivable injury," Hinchcliffe said. "So I am the luckiest of unlucky guys, or some combination therein."
Hinchcliffe, 29, credited the quick response from the trackside medical team for saving his life. Still, he doesn't remember anything about the crash even though he was conscious when he was extracted from the car.
"I'm not sure if it's some sort of defense mechanism or just biology taking over, but despite being conscious through the whole process, I have mercifully been spared any memory of the accident whatsoever, of the extraction," he said.
Hinchcliffe also said he didn't come to grips with the severity of the crash until "several days later."
"Hearing all their first-person accounts of [how] that day was for them and hearing their stories, that it really began to sink in just how serious the injuries were and [how] close it was to being a very different story," he said.