Name: Doug Danger
Hometown: Palmer, Massachusetts
Claim to Fame: Held Guinness Book of World Records title for longest motorcycle jump; Leaped over the fuselage of a 737 jet; Once did motorcycle wheelies down his high school hallways (he got in big trouble for that).
Injuries: Fractured skull, brain damage, broken an additional “47 or 48” bones, third-degree leg burns.
Off-Season Work: Runs the “Danger Zone Saloon,” a sports and karaoke bar in Warren, Massachusetts.
Web Site: http://www.myspace.com/teamdangerusa
As a kid, Doug “Danger” Senecal dreamed of jumping over the Caesar’s Palace fountains in Las Vegas – a feat his hero, Evel Knievel, attempted but never accomplished. He also once boasted he would jump the gap between the World Trade Center Towers in Manhattan.
Doug never pulled off either stunt. But his 1991 world record jump over 42 cars put him in Knievel’s league forever.
Doug launched his daredevil career at age 12, jumping his bicycle over two cars at a Lions Club fair. In 1984, at age 22, he gained national attention for jumping over a three-story rollerskating rink into a lake filled with rowboats.
A string of sensational events would follow. In 1985, the young Danger leaped over 14 school busses in Thompson, Conn. Later that year in North Carolina, his Yamaha’s gas tank exploded during a firewall stunt in North Carolina. Doug suffered third-degree burns on his legs, which had been saturated with gasoline, and struggled to learn how to walk again.
He achieved Guinness Book immortality in 1991 at the New Hampshire International Speedway, leaping 251 feet with his 500 c.c. Honda over 42 Chevy Cavaliers. But the enjoyment wouldn’t last long.
A year later, he was in a coma.
The jump was only a measley 11 cars. But the track, New Hampshire’s Hudson Speedway, was tiny. After completing the stunt, Danger couldn’t turn his bike in time. At full speed, he slammed his head into a cement wall and cracked open his skull. When he regained consciousness a month later, his shattered body was the least of his problems.
“My memory was completely gone. When I say my memory, I just don’t mean that I didn’t know somebody,” Doug explains. “I would get up in the morning just like a infant. And when the phone was ringing, I didn’t know why the phone was making noise. I couldn’t read, I couldn’t talk I couldn’t do anything. I was just like a baby I had to grow up all over again.”
Against the wishes of his wife (now ex-wife), Doug slowly eased back into the stunt world after his two-year recovery. It was his mother (“Mom Danger”) who gave him the courage to later jump his motorcycle over a jumbo jet.
“I truly believe that we are born to be what we are,” says Mom Danger. “And if you can’t be alive being Doug Danger, then you might as well be dead.”