Fans of the “Moonshiners” documentary drama TV series, immediately panicked when news broke in early May 2023 that Craig Landry, one the leading cast members since 2021, recently suffered severe injuries. One reason for the shock was that “Moonshiners” is tame compared to other Discovery Channel TV shows such as “Deadliest Catch,” “Bering Sea Gold,” “Mysteries of the Deep,” and “Dirty Mudder Truckers.”
Craig and other cast members work on producing moonshine, a traditional but illegally made high-proof liquor in the Appalachian Mountains, in states such as Kentucky, North and South Carolina, Virginia, and Tennessee. Despite what the show’s name suggests, the authorities claim that the production company, Magilla Entertainment, dramatizes the cast member’s lifestyle, production efforts and volume, and arrest-avoiding activities.
Even if we assume that the content is genuine, neither Craig nor other “Moonshiners” cast members have had the authorities hot on their heels under cover of the night, as bootlegging isn’t a high priority for the often small police forces. Hence, the family clarified that Craig didn’t get hurt on the job on 24 April 2023, leaving producers powerless to help and prompting the Good Samaritans to donate via GoFundMe.com for his recovery. Here’s what happened.
Craig was severely hurt in April
Although Discovery Channel aired the show in 2011, the practice of producing moonshine is over 200 years old. It was taught from generation to generation when governments began taxing legal liquor. However, many recipes that Craig and Richard created or adjusted were inspired by the liquor made between 1920 and 1933, during Prohibition in the United States. With that in mind, although Craig did not get hurt in the production, transport, or selling process, the severity of his wounds prompted the Landry family to hold off from immediately reporting the accident. Simply put, neither Craig nor his loved ones wanted the audience to see him in such a broken state.
Another reason was that his co-star, Josh Owens, broke his neck, arm, back, and legs almost precisely a month before, in late March, so the stress was high. However, a few days after the accident, Craig’s brother Richard Landry and his manager, Lauren, had to reveal that he’d fallen while riding his unicycle. His brother stated that Craig wasn’t drinking then, but might have blacked out. Thankfully, some ladies found him on the street, and he received an emergency operation to wire his jaw shut, as it was shattered and inflamed. Craig will require a few more surgical procedures after the inflammation settles so that the doctors can mend his broken jaw and teeth, hand and face.
'Moonshiners' Star Craig Landry Hospitalized After Electric Unicycle Wreck https://t.co/sIjL8iphW6
— TMZ (@TMZ) May 5, 2023
He crashed his electric unicycle
TMZ exclusively revealed on 5 May that Craig had fallen from his electric bike while riding near his home in New Iberia, Louisiana, USA. They didn’t clarify whether he crashed into something or fell to the concrete. Regardless, he was knocked unconscious, and a few ladies passing by called 911. A few days following hospitalization, the paramedics airlifted Craig to the nearest medical center equipped to deal with his recovery.
The doctors at the University Medical Center in New Orleans performed a maxillofacial surgical operation shortly after. Consequently, Craig was out of the woods but had a long road to recovery. Still, they informed the family that he would require a few more, likely four, facial surgical operations to restore his previous appearance and correct the state of his bones and muscles.
Craig does not remember the incident, only that he woke up in the ambulance. His brother clarified via Facebook on 29 April, a day after the surgical operation, that the doctors couldn’t repair all his injuries during the six-hour operation. According to the doctors, Craig had shattered several sensitive parts with many nerve endings, including his forehead, eye sockets, nose, and upper and lower jaw.
He was on the mend
Now that Craig was no longer in a life-threatening state, Richard was more open to talking to TMZ. Although he didn’t say much, he clarified that he didn’t believe Craig had been drinking liquor or taking drugs. Instead, he believes that his brother, who suffered from high blood pressure, felt unsteady or blacked out while riding his electric unicycle, an activity that he often does. It’s uncertain whether heat had contributed; according to AccuWeather, a website for global temperature monitoring, the maximum temperature in New Iberia on that day was 25 degrees Celsius or 77 degrees Fahrenheit. Still, Louisiana is known for the presence of heavy, humid air, even before summer begins.
Thankfully, Richard stated that Craig returned home on 1 May and recovered, but was understandably in severe pain. He thanked Craig’s fans for following his progress and reiterated that he remained hopeful that his brother would fully recover. Richard added that he was ‘super proud to be a part of the “Moonshiners” community and asked for prayers for Craig and his co-star Josh.’
Craig’s manager helped
Although the public learned about the accident from TMZ, many fans saw that Craig’s manager, Lauren Speyrer Edge, started a fundraiser on GoFundMe.com on 27 April 2023. She wrote that Craig will have a long road to recovery, as the event will affect him for years to come, and he’ll be unable to work for quite a long time.
Lauren reminded his fans that Craig’s body was inflamed when his jaw was wired on 28 April, so the doctors couldn’t establish whether he had broken bones in his neck, back, and legs. Lauren collected US$6,925 before she closed the fundraiser without posting updates. Considering that Lauren did not extend the goal of $100,000, optimists among Craig’s fans took this as a sign that he had the funds for additional surgical operations and support during his recovery.
Around that time, Craig’s brother also posted a quick update via his Facebook account, Richard Landry Moonshiner,. He explained that the incident hadn’t broken Craig’s spirit and that he ‘was telling him what to do with moonshine again, so he was coming back, and the prayers were working.’ Richard clarified, ‘He’s not quite talking yet, but when he does, I promise I’ll let him say a special thank you to everybody who took the time to show some love to us.’ Richard, who became a series regular in the 11th season and appeared in many episodes of season 12, promised to keep Craig’s legacy alive.
Richard will update fans
Craig isn’t on social media and unable to do much anyway, so his brother feels obligated to share the news. After the initial announcement, Richard posted two updates. First, Richard uploaded a video to Facebook on 22 May, saying Craig was swollen and in pain. He was doing it again but was far from eating solid meals, so he had to rely on water and gelatinous foods. Craig felt unprepared to talk to his fans on camera, wanting to look more appealing than in Lauren’s post-operation picture for the fundraiser.
Second, Richard updated fans on 23 June that Craig’s jaw was still wired shut but that swelling had decreased. Craig was still not ready to show himself, but has made strides. Richard stated that he has ‘been out and about, taking walks and spending time with family, but isn’t back to his 100% state.’ He thanked fans for their inquiries again, and promised to update them when Craig feels better and can eat solid foods.