Eleven years after a rocket-powered dragster accident that nearly killed him on BBC's Top Gear, automotive journalist Richard Hammond was involved in another serious crash while filming his new Amazon show The Grand Tour in Switzerland Saturday.
He crashed after completing a climb of Hemburg Hill in eastern Switzerland. The Rimac Concept One electric supercar he was driving Saturday was reduced to a twisted, blackened mess after it crashed and caught fire.
Luckily, Hammond fared a lot better this time around.
“Richard was conscious and talking, and climbed out of the car himself before the vehicle burst into flames, producers said in a statement to the Associated Press. “He was flown by air ambulance to (a) hospital in St. Gallen to be checked over, revealing a fracture to his knee.”
That will no doubt frustrate the 47-year-old Hammond, who keeps in shape by running and cycling. Still, it's better than his 2006 on-camera accident, which happened during an attempt to break the British land-speed record. A tire blew at 280 miles per hour and his dragster began to roll. His last thought before losing consciousness was, "So this is how I die." He was wrong about that part but sustained a traumatic brain injury that required months of rehabilitation, which he wrote about in his 2008 book On the Edge.
The show said no one else was involved in Saturday's accident, and the cause of the crash was under investigation.
Gian Andrea Rezzoli, a spokesman for St. Gallen cantonal (state) police, confirmed the Associated Press that a person had been injured on a cordoned-off racetrack and taken to a hospital. The person was conscious after the crash, he said, but declined to confirm the person’s identity.
Co-host Jeremy Clarkson was reportedly there and witnessed the carnage, unlike when Hammond crashed in 2006.
He tweeted, “It was the biggest crash I’ve ever seen and the most frightening but incredibly, and thankfully, Richard seems to be mostly OK.”
It was the biggest crash I've ever seen and the most frightening but incredibly, and thankfully, Richard seems to be mostly OK.— Jeremy Clarkson (@JeremyClarkson) June 10, 2017
That's saying something coming from Clarkson, who has seen a lot of crashes, both on his shows and as a fan of Formula One racing.
Hammond's latest crash is the most serious incident to happen since he, Clarkson and James May began their Amazon series. The Grand Tour debuted last November, nearly two years after their decade-long run onTop Gear ended with Clarkson's firing for punching a producer.
The trio is currently filming the second season of The Grand Tour. Like Top Gear, the car segments are filmed around the world, along with the addition of audience segments, thanks to the show's mobile tented studio.
Contributing: The Associated Press