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Powell's agent survives crash

Published:Monday | August 2, 2010 | 12:00 AM

André Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter

Paul Doyle, the agent of some of Jamaica's top athletes including Asafa Powell and Brigitte Foster-Hylton, walked away from a plane crash in the hills of Virginia, USA on Saturday, after the small private plane that he was flying hit some bad weather.

Doyle, who was with his wife Karen, actually had to have an emergency landing on a small field but the pair has only suffered minor injuries following the incident.

Speaking to The Gleaner via a telephone interview yesterday morning, Doyle expressed happiness that there were no major injuries after the incident and explained that the only damage is the psychological effect of such an experience.

Banged up

"I'm a little bit banged up, but nothing major, just some sores from the impact," said Doyle. "She (wife) is more psychologically injured than physically. She has a pretty bad bruise on her backside, but the shock and psychological aspect of it is going to be much harder to get over than the physical."

The highly respected Doyle, who also manages several other athletes from across the world, pointed out that he has already been in contact with a number of his Jamaican clients such as sprinters Michael Frater and Sherone Simpson.

"Gradually, throughout the day they (Jamaican athletes) have been hearing about it and everyone is just happy that we are both fine," Doyle noted. "Michael Frater and Sherone Simpson were the first ones that I have heard from and they are just happy that we are alive."

Doyle, who also coached Olympic athletes from 12 different countries, took time out to relate the series of events that led to his accident.

Worsening weather

"My wife and I were together, she had come with me to a trip in Virginia and we were flying back; we were going through the mountain in Virginia in weather conditions that were worsening every minute," said Doyle.

Doyle, who has been flying for three years, further explained that he tried to change course around the storm and was hoping to make his way to the nearest airport some 13 miles away. The conditions, however, made this impossible and so the decision was taken to find a suitable place to land the plane, be it an empty road or, as it was in this case, a strip of land close to the foot of a hill.

He added, "Because we were still coming in with a lot of speed, I had to try and drop it (plane) quickly. We ended up floating back up and getting airborne again. The plane actually flew over the top of a fence, clipped it and nose-dived into the foot of a hill."

The agent will have to get over whatever lingering psychological impact there is as he is expecting to be in Stockholm on Wednesday, ahead of Powell's highly anticipated 100m clash with rivals Usain Bolt and Tyson Gay.

"I'm gonna be in Stockholm on Wednesday," Doyle assured. "By far, this has been my worst experience in a plane, but I'll be OK."