Strongman Tom Owens Injured In StuntAP , Associated Press
Mar. 9, 1989 6:11 AM ET
BIRMINGHAM, ALA. BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) _ Weightlifter and stunt man Tom Owen, who once let a tractor-trailer rig roll across his stomach, finally met his match.
The operator of a home for abused children suffered two broken ribs Wednesday after a pickup truck loaded with 20 children rolled across his stomach.
''I've never been hurt like this before,'' Owen said by telephone from his bed at AMI Brookwood Medical Center. ''The pain was so bad I thought I might die.''
Owen, founder and director of the King's Ranch in Chelsea, was admitted to the hospital with abdominal injuries and was being kept overnight for observation, a spokeswoman said.
Owen, 38, had performed the stunt hundreds of times when he agreed to do it Wednesday for a photographer from the National Enquirer.
The problem, Owen said, was he didn't have a ramp to catch the wheel of the truck once it had rolled across his stomach. Owen usually uses two ramps - one of each side of his stomach - but he decided to use only one ramp Wednesday because he thought it would make a better picture.
A dozen spectators and the truckload of children watched quietly as Owen writhed on the ground in pain. For several minutes, Owen appeared dazed before he finally looked around and said, ''Is it over? I must have blacked out.''
Owen, who has won dozens of trophies in weight-lifting contests, started performing his daredevil feats about 10 years ago to raise money for the ranch.
Until Wednesday, his only serious injury was a broken hand, the result of a truck tire landing on his hand, he said. He also has broken several teeth during stunts in which he pulls trucks and lifts heavy objects with his mouth.