“First stage scrubbed… Must have been a big accident”
This observation from Canadian WRC competitor Ian Crerar shows just how little information filters back to the entrants during an event.
The accident in itself wasn’t too bad. On a tight mountain pass, Hayden Padden lost the back end of the Hyundai entry at the exit of a sharp left turn and smacked the rock face. The impact threw the car into the air and onto its side. When the car comes to a rest, a spectator can be seen pinned underneath the car.
Hyundai verified that it was indeed their man and that a spectator was involved, on Twitter:
SS1 UPDATE: it’s reported that a person was involved in Paddon’s accident. We are liaising with the organisers to have more news.
— Hyundai Motorsport (@HMSGOfficial) January 19, 2017
Update: The spectator has died.
As a motorsport photographer, this kind of stupidity drives me absolutely insane. Why on earth is there a human standing at the exit of a turn, with no protection and no place to escape. Every single time something like this happens, it makes my job as a shooter more difficult.