L’ 11 January 1986 He went ahead with a stage ending 590 kilometers by road to Zinder and all competitors have witnessed a terrible scene about ten kilometers after Nguigmi: Jean-Michel Baron, already sore at dock for more than five days, lying on the ground on its side. Her face is swollen and my knee popped, and is unconscious; his Honda 750 is several dozen meters away. All competitors stopped to rescue him. Jean-Claude Olivier cuts the suit with the knife to allow him to breathe and stay with him several hours to clean wounds. Meanwhile Gaston Rahier and Jacky Ickx will return to their departure for phoning. Emergency beacons are activated. Unfortunately the three helicopters are grounded. Three hours after doctors Florence Bonnel and Alain Lamour onboard doctor turn away from sands of the special and come to the aid of Jean-Michel. Doctors assess the severity of injury: coma stage II, knee injury with deep wound, right elbow smashed, facial fracture. You turn then the Organization for major emergencies.
Thierry Sabine takes off immediately with the helicopter piloted by Francis-Xavier Bagnoud to transport the wounded to Nguigmi. Patrick Fourticq, Thirty-nine years, Commander of Air France in addition to rally African protagonist as pilot, take the controls of a Cessna and rushes to Nguigmi with Drs. Marianne Fleury and Alan Jones on board. Roger Kalmanowitz alert SOS Assistance in Geneva which guarantees a Lear Jet for two in the morning in Zinder. The Cessna you bury it immediately after landing, then Fourticq caters to the airstrip, that turns out to be a former student pilot.
Preparing reports for the helicopter that has not arrived yet, because it had to refuel. The casualty is then loaded on the Cessna and you have to be able to take off. It takes seven men for disinsabbiare the plane. The police car is placed at the beginning of the runway with headlights on and two men with torches are the distances. Fourticq launches the plane and manages to emerge out of the sand and take off. Two hours after the Cessna landed at Zinder. Dr. Lapendry, Head of the medical team of the Embassy, has already prepared everything: the modest sick bay of the small airport was transformed into a surgical unit. "We had to perform surgery Protocol: It was necessary to clean wounds and surgical check to preserve future organ function.»
Claude Lapendry, together with Jacques Azorin and Olivier Aubry opera the knee, the elbow and face of Jean-Michel Baron, inserting catheters in different vital organs in light of neon. The scene of these men in green, masked, that will be around one of them to try and tear him to death in the depths of the desert is unreal, almost fairytale. the night, at the bivouac, contestants parade one after another, with images accumulated shortly before at the side of the road in southern Niger still imprinted at the bottom of the eyes. When they arrive at the Africatours truck to get some food you vent. "I told him last night to stop. It was no longer appropriate to continue, had too much pain in the pelvis. "
Is Gilles Picard, his teammate to Cagiva speaking, slowly, softly, as if you could go back in time. «For several hours, in the break of the race, I wondered what we were doing here and if it were the case continuing.»
Gérard Tilliette has a Boulder on the chest. Would still be allocated all the next day, towards the 205 kilometers of pitfalls between Tahoua and Talcho, before you indulge in the pleasure of a day of rest in Niamey. In the night the jet carried Baron to Paris, toward civilization, to a specialist clinic.
Ed: Unfortunately Baron never recovered from this accident, He remained in a vegetative coma until his death on 7 September 2010.
taken from: The last tree of Paris Dakar by Jean Luc Roy published by Vertical Sea Edition