Who was Gary Wells?
Gary Wells was an American motorcycle stuntman who rose to fame in the 1970s and 1980s. He was born in 1957 and started riding motorcycles at the age of six. He performed his first jump at the age of 15, breaking the world record held by Evel Knievel. He went on to perform many spectacular jumps, including over 13 buses, a Boeing 727, and the Houston Astrodome. He was known for his fearless attitude and his signature red, white, and blue helmet
What was his most famous jump?
Wells’ most famous jump was also his most disastrous. On September 15, 1980, he attempted to jump over the fountains at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, a feat that had been previously attempted and failed by Evel Knievel in 1967. Wells was confident that he could succeed where Knievel had failed, and he had a large audience watching him, including a live TV crew from the show That’s Incredible!. However, things went horribly wrong when Wells hit the ramp at the wrong speed and angle, causing him to lose control of his bike in mid-air. He crashed into a wall and landed on the pavement, suffering multiple injuries, including two broken legs, a fractured pelvis, and a torn aorta. He was rushed to the hospital and underwent emergency surgery to save his life
How did he recover from his crash?
Wells survived his crash, but he faced a long and painful recovery. He spent months in the hospital and had to undergo several operations and physical therapy. He also suffered from depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. He later said that he felt like he had died and come back to life, and that he had lost his identity as a stuntman. He tried to resume his career, but he never regained his former glory. He struggled with financial and personal problems, and he became addicted to painkillers and alcohol. He also had several run-ins with the law, including arrests for drug possession, theft, and assault
How did he die?
Wells died on August 6, 2020, in Glendale, Arizona. He was 63 years old. According to his obituary on Legacy.com, he passed away peacefully in his sleep. The cause of death was not officially disclosed, but it is likely that it was related to his long-term health issues stemming from his crash. He was survived by his son, Gary Wells Jr., his daughter, Jessica Wells, his brother, Randy Wells, and his sister, Debbie Wells. He was also remembered by his fans and friends, who paid tribute to him on social media and shared their memories of his daring jumps
What was his legacy?
Wells was one of the pioneers of motorcycle stunt riding, and he inspired many other riders to follow his footsteps. He was admired for his courage, skill, and charisma, and he entertained millions of people with his thrilling performances. He also had a positive impact on the sport of motocross, as he helped to popularize it and to improve its safety standards. He was inducted into the American Motorcyclist Association Hall of Fame in 1999, and he was honored by the Guinness World Records as the holder of the longest motorcycle jump in history
Gary Wells cause of death may have marked the end of his life, but his spirit lives on in his jumps, his records, and his fans. He was a true legend of motorcycle stunt riding, and he will never be forgotten.