A BMX rider was performing as part of a Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents Circus Extreme act in Fairfax, Virginia, Thursday when a stunt went terribly wrong.
On video captured by an audience member, the cyclist wearing the yellow helmet can be seen doing a few runs and tricks before falling while mid-air and landing on his head.
His body can be seen lying motionless on the ground as the audience sits stunned in their seats, some with cellphone cameras still rolling capturing the scene.
First responders were brought in to treat the BMX rider, who has not been identified, as the show initially continued around him. But after several minutes, the audience was cleared out.
Afterward, Ringling Bros. said in a statement that the male performer had "received immediate medical attention and was taken to a local hospital for further evaluation."
Stephen Payne, vice president of corporate communications for Feld Entertainment, which owns Ringling Bros., declined to comment on the extent of the performer's injuries or provide an update on his condition.
"I cannot confirm any of the information you list [regarding] his medical treatment, injuries or which hospital he is at," Payne said. "He is receiving medical care and we are all hoping for a speedy recovery. ... Out of privacy for our performer and his family we are not releasing his name or any other information at this time."
On its website, Ringling Bros. described its BMX-riding act as an "adrenaline-charged performance" in which "daredevils zip, dash and spin as they crisscross the arena floor, performing heroic half-pipe tricks, stunning 360-degree flips, hands-free jumps and much more."
The website said the riders ranged from an X Games champion to championship bike riders coming from the world of competitive BMX.