KDKA’s Dave Crawley was hurt during Three Rivers Regatta, his attorney says |

KDKA’s Dave Crawley was hurt during Three Rivers Regatta, his attorney says

A screenshot from a YouTube video of Dave Crawley's Flugtag jump at the Three Rivers Regatta in Pittsburgh in 2017. A lawyer on Friday said Crawley was injured during the jump.
Penn Hills Progress
Special guest Dave Crawley from KDKA-TV read to students on Title I Reading Night, held Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013 at Linton Middle School. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Dave Crawley, known for his quirky, rhyming stories on KDKA-TV, has retained a civil rights attorney for potential legal action resulting from injuries he suffered during a stunt at last year’s Pittsburgh Three Rivers Regatta.

Crawley was hurt after he jumped off a 22-foot deck in a homemade flying machine as part of the Red Bull Flugtag during the Regatta, said his attorney Ari Wilkenfeld of Washington, D.C.

Crawley, who donned a vest and helmet, landed on his face and front in the Allegheny River. Wilkenfeld said Crawley, who is seen flashing a thumbs-up after surfacing, ruptured his spleen on impact. He has not been on the air since the crash.

“This is a 70-year-old man that we’re talking about,” said Wilkenfeld, who has yet to file any legal action on behalf of his client.

“He is doing everything he can to get back to work,” said Wilkenfeld, adding it is unclear whether Crawley obtained a waiver from Red Bull.

Crawley had his spleen removed and suffered other injuries, his attorney said.

Wilkenfeld has represented the acuser of former “Today” show host Matt Lauer, who was fired in a sexual harassment scandal.

Crawley did not respond to telephone calls at his Squirrel Hill home. He also did not respond to an email. Crawley joined the television station in April 1988. He had previously been with a television station in Madison, Wis., according to his KDKA biography.

KDKA, which assigned Crawley the story, did not comment.

“I am not able to comment on health-related absences,” KDKA general manager Chris Pike wrote in an email.

Red Bull’s Flugtag, which is German for flying day, is an event in which competitors attempt to fly homemade, human-powered flying machines that are limited to 330 pounds and a wingspan of about 30 feet.

Officials from Red Bull’s American headquarters in Los Angeles could not be reached for comment. The corporate headquarters of Red Bull is in Austria.

Suzanne Elliott is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 412-871-2346, [email protected] or via Twitter @41Suzanne.

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