A DRIVER was launched into the air during a dramatic collision last week at a Mildura harness racing meet.

Horse Doc Harvey fell on the first turn on Friday night during the Gateway Pace, interrupting the path of fellow horses Major West, Good Onya and Havelock.

Their drivers became dislodged from their sulkies – including David Smith, who was catapulted metres off the ground before landing back on his own bike.

Harness Racing Victoria said a stewards report had cleared the horses of serious injury, however Smith and Alex Ashwood were transferred to hospital for further treatment.

Aaron Dunn was badly bruised, while Doc Harvey driver Ryan Sanderson received medical attention but was cleared of injury.

Smith, 64, was released from Mildura Base Public Hospital on Monday night before returning to Adelaide.

He told SEN Track he had been in intensive care because of a back fracture near his spine but “all in all I got out of it very, very lucky”, particularly given he landed on the bike.

“I think if I hit the ground (from) that height I would have been severely concussed and probably had multiple fractures,” he said.

Ashwood by late Friday had posted on social media: “Thumbs up from the hospital bed … A few rounds with Mike Tyson, but I’ll be back in the bike soon. Thanks everyone for the messages.”

He was said to have suffered a broken wrist, facial fractures and a back injury, and was released from hospital on Sunday night.

The event was declared a no race.

– MICHAEL DIFABRIZIO