The Tunnel of Fire quickly turned into a raging inferno when daredevil Clint Ewing attempted to ride through it on a motorcycle during a stunt held in conjunction with The Sturgis Buffalo Chip's Daredevil Wednesday.
Ewing crashed through the side of the tunnel to escape death while emergency personnel quickly shuffled him to an ambulance. His motorcycle lie in a lump of charred remains.
With CMT cameras rolling, an anxious crowd watching, and Guinness World Record officials on hand, daredevil Clint Ewing crashed through the tunnel of fire at the Sturgis Buffalo Chip while attempting to set a new world record. The event was part of The Chip’s “Daredevil Wednesday” where several extreme stunts were taking place with the intentions of breaking existing Guinness records. Ewing was attempting to ride through a tunnel of fire 360.25-feet long on a Honda sportbike.
With foreboding clouds on the horizon from an approaching thunderstorm, the attempt to ride through the tunnel was moved up an hour because of the storm. Organizers had spent months of planning for the event and with the added pressure of a TV special being filmed, the decision was made to hastily proceed.
Ewing made a few practice passes through the chicken wire and cardboard-draped tunnel before the thumbs up was given to light it on fire. With the smell of kerosene and gasoline in the air, 40 tiki torch bearers proceeded to apply the flame to the tunnel, but the top section had dried out too much and wouldn’t ignite. They then lit the gasoline-soaked hay lining the bottom, and within seconds the tunnel was an inferno.
The sound of the engine of Ewing’s sportbike filled the air as he attempted to ride more than the length of a football field through a tunnel of flames. Black and grey smoke bellowed from the structure as the heat was so intense, it pushed back the crowd. The structure quickly disintegrated, pieces of cardboard swirling inside the tunnel, the flames burning demonically hot. As precious seconds ticked away, there was still no sign of Ewing at the exit.
Firefighters and paramedics rushed to the left side of the tunnel about 200 feet in as Ewing had crashed his motorcycle through the wall of the tunnel, he and his bike lieing together in a charred ball. Firefighters had a hose on him almost immediately and he was conscious and able to walk away from the incident with his clothes charred, his hands visibly burned, but alive. He was quickly escorted to an ambulance and whisked away to a local hospital. His motorcycle meanwhile was a crumpled heap of melted plastic bodywork and blackened metal. Ewing’s status is unknown.