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T.J. Lavin injured on what was to be his final ride as BMX pro

BMX and MTV star T.J. Lavin was injured Thursday night in a crash in what was to be his final ride as a BMX pro.

Lavin, who remains hospitalized after emerging from a medically induced coma, was not looking forward to the competition, People reports, because he was shaken by a crash Wednesday in which his friend and fellow rider Ty Pinney was severely injured in a crash in Lavin's backyard bike course in Las Vegas. Pinney remains in a coma, five beds from Lavin in a Las Vegas hospital.

"TJ was devastated," Lavin's and Pinney's friend Ollie Abbas said. "He didn't even want to ride, but he felt obligated. It was the first time the Dew Tour was held in Vegas and it's his hometown. Also, he and his friends helped build the jumps."

Lavin was hurt on a jump, called a "nac nac," that friends say he's performed hundreds of times; he was unable to get his feet on the pedals before landing. Lavin, who has hosted MTV's "Real World/Road Rules Challenge" since 2005, reportedly suffered an orbital fracture on his eye and a fractured right wrist.

"He was totally tweaked because of Ty's crash," BMX star Ryan Nyquist said. "Something like that, when it happens to your friends, it definitely messes with you. I've had friends go down hard and you just think about it. It hits so close to home because that could be you. And the fact that it happened to him in [Lavin's] backyard, that hits home. It's crazy. I feel like that was really one his mind when he competed. It can't not affect you."

His friends expect Lavin to fight through the injury. "I talked to one of the guys from Dew Tour and they took an MRI and things looked all right and they're slowly weaning him off of the medication to keep him induced," Nyquist said. "But I think he's still not ready to be conscious. I think he's got a breathing tube, and it's unfortunate. I feel like TJ's a pretty strong dude and he'll pull out of it just fine. It's going to take a little while."

By Cindy Boren  | October 18, 2010; 12:17 PM ET
 
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