LUBBOCK, TX -- A legendary Texas daredevil is recovering at Lubbock's University Medical Center, after a stunt in New Mexico went terribly wrong.
'Big Ed' Beckley attempted to jump his motorcycle over nine cars at an event in Hobbs last Friday night. But his trajectory was short, and clipped his Harley-Davidson on the ninth and final car.
"You know that was the thing about Evil Knievel, no one ever talked about the jumps he made. It was the jumps he crashed on," Beckley pointed out from his hospital bed Monday afternoon.
And indeed, 'Big Ed' Beckley was the man in demand on Monday, as phone call after phone call came in on his bedside telephone.
"When you do this business that I do, you take a big gamble," he says. "Now, people wanna talk to me. If I had made that jump, I wouldn't be getting one phone call today."
Beckley says he knew it wasn't going to make the distance, from the moment he took off.
"I knew I was short on the takeoff ramp," he says. "And there's nothing worse than knowing that you're going to crash."
Instead of landing the jump, he landed himself in a bed at UMC, after a harrowing Lifeflight in from New Mexico.
"I stopped breathing once on the airplane on my way here from Hobbs," according to Beckley. "I woke up once, and I said 'What happened?' and they said, 'We lost you.' And I said, 'Well, I'm glad ya got me back!"
Beckley's now in satisfactory condition. And while some of his bones may be broken, his spirit certainly is not.
"If you don't get back out there, you're a failure. I don't want to be a failure," he asserts. "I'm going to come back and jump more cars there next year. You watch."