EYE-OPENER FOR WRC SPEC­TA­TORS

NZ Performance Car - - Inside Line -

You will have heard the news of the tragic death of a spec­ta­tor at the Monte Carlo Rally, in­volv­ing New Zealand driver, Hay­den Paddon.

We’d like to of­fer our con­do­lences to the friends and fam­ily of the un­named 50-year-old man, and to Hay­den him­self, dur­ing this stress­ful time.

The in­ci­dent oc­curred af­ter Paddon’s car failed to take a left-hand cor­ner and rolled onto its side af­ter re­bound­ing off the bank. Eye­wit­nesses at the scene said the man, who was be­lieved to have been tak­ing pho­tos from a high point on the bank, was in an area pro­hib­ited from the pub­lic.

Video from the in­ci­dent re­veals that the spec­ta­tor tum­bled down the bank af­ter the im­pact caused a small land­side, and it ap­pears that the ve­hi­cle did not make con­tact with him — although de­tails are scarce, the cause of death is sus­pected to be from a heart at­tack.

In a per­sonal state­ment re­leased on Paddon’s Face­book page, he said, “Firstly our thoughts are with the fam­ily and friends of the spec­ta­tor in­volved ... I am com­mit­ted to work with the FIA and rally or­ga­niz­ers re­lent­lessly to en­sure this does not hap­pen again.” He later con­tin­ued, “I will take this chance to ask spec­ta­tors at ral­lies to please be con­sid­er­ate of where you stand and to re­spect the in­struc­tions of the mar­shals. We all want to en­joy a good show and go home to the fam­ily af­ter­wards. I also ask each and ev­ery rally fan at the events, if you see some­one in a dan­ger­ous po­si­tion, to re­quest they move for ev­ery­one’s best in­ter­est. As a com­mu­nity, we can col­lec­tively work to­gether to pre­vent this from hap­pen­ing again.”

The WRC stage was can­celled by or­ga­niz­ers fol­low­ing the crash, and Paddon is un­able to re­turn home to New Zealand while an in­ves­ti­ga­tion is un­der­way.

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