This paper reviews our research on catastrophic head impact compression neck injury. On the basis of these experiments, a biomechanical model of the spine is developed in which the complex clinical presentation of cervical spine injuries may be better understood. This includes the significance of head rebound, head and neck decoupling, cervical spine buckling, cervical injury mechanisms, basilar skull fractures, cervical injury classification, and cervical spine tolerance. Specifically, we hypothesize that impact injury should be modeled as the dynamic response of two large masses coupled by a segmented curved beam-column comprised of seven small masses with interposed nonlinear viscoelastic flexibility elements. These impact data also provide insights into the effects of the padding on the mitigation of head and neck injury.