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Family keeps vigil for injured motocross racer

Family and friends of Josh Sorensen of Zumbro Falls have been staying close to Saint Marys Hospital in Rochester since Sunday, hoping and praying that the 24-year-old will wake from a coma without severe brain damage.

Sorensen has been unconscious since crashing during a motocross race Sunday at the Midway MX Park in Kellogg. He has severe bruising and swelling in the front part of his brain, both of his lungs were bruised and his collar bone was broken, said his girlfriend, Jessica Koenig.

Doctors at Saint Marys have told the family that there's no way to gauge Sorensen's chances for a full recovery until the swelling in his brain subsides, she said.

"It could go from him needing a large amount of assistance to him having a really good recovery. They always have to say the worst first, but at this point, they honestly don't really know," Koenig said.

Many people have shown up at the hospital to check on Sorensen and his family, said his mother, Koni Sorensen. The visitors include kids who have taken motocross lessons from Josh, who last year, was the champion of District 23, the area motocross district of the American Motorcyclist Association.


People also are expressing their concern and well wishes to the family on a CaringBridge web page Koenig is updating. As of 9 p.m. Monday, it had received more than 745 hits.

Growing up with motorcycles

Josh, who operates a handyman/construction business, comes from a family of motorcycle racers and has been racing since he was 3, his mother said. His father, Jeff Sorensen, races in the 50-plus class, and his sister, Kasia, races in women's motocross.

"Josh lives and loves riding bike," Koni said.

However, after racing semi-pro and winning the district championship last year, Josh was riding only for fun this year and not racing very often.

"The only reason he was racing (Sunday) was it was his father's 52nd birthday. So everybody raced except for my daughter," Koni said.

Race accident

During the race on Sunday, Koenig was standing near one of the big jumps on the track, taking pictures of Josh, who was leading the pack of riders. She watched him go off the jump near her and drop down into the landing area, but she didn't see him reappear with the rest of the pack at the next jump.


Realizing something was wrong, Koenig climbed over the fence and was the third person to reach Josh. He had crashed on the landing. The two workers on the track who got there first said Josh had gone over his bike's handlebars and the motorcycle landed on him when he hit the ground.

When asked how she and her family were faring Monday night, Koni said their religious faith is sustaining them.

"I am a born again Christian, like my children, and I know that our God is a miracle worker. So, I'm praying for a miracle," she said.

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