Dare­devil Ham­mond de­fies death

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS -

FOR­MER Top Gear star Richard Ham­mond, pic­tured, cheated death on Satur­day after a dra­matic high-speed car crash in Switzer­land.

Footage cap­tured the mo­ment the TV pre­sen­ter’s £2 mil­lion (R33m) elec­tric su­per­car swerved off a road be­fore burst­ing into flames dur­ing film­ing for his TV show The Grand Tour 2.

In­cred­i­bly, Ham­mond, 47, was able to pull him­self from the wreck­age be­fore the car caught fire. He was air­lifted to hos­pi­tal with a frac­tured knee.

It is the sec­ond time Ham­mond has es­caped from a ter­ri­fy­ing crash.

He was in a coma for two weeks in Septem­ber 2006 after the jet-pow­ered Vam­pire car he was driv­ing for Top

Gear at 464km/h suf­fered a burst tyre dur­ing a land­speed record at­tempt.

Of Satur­day’s ac­ci­dent, co-pre­sen­ter Jeremy Clark­son tweeted: “It was the big­gest crash I’ve ever seen and the most fright­en­ing, but in­cred­i­bly, and thank­fully, Richard seems to be mostly OK.”

Last month, after be­ing knocked out in a mo­tor­bike ac­ci­dent while film­ing in Africa, the star swore never to take part in any more dan­ger­ous stunts for the sake of his “beau­ti­ful” fam­ily.

The father-of-two was driv­ing the white Ri­mac su­per­car around the Hem­berg Hill Climb in the vil­lage of St Gallen in north­ern Switzer­land for his Ama­zon Prime show when the hor­ri­fy­ing ac­ci­dent hap­pened.

Pho­to­graphs showed the car by the side of a road be­fore the blaze was put out by fire­fight­ers, leav­ing a burnt-out hulk. Race tri­als were be­ing held on a closed sec­tion of moun­tain road ahead of the race yes­ter­day.

After last month’s ac­ci­dent, Ham­mond vowed never to put his life on the line again, say­ing: “I’ve a beau­ti­ful wife and two beau­ti­ful daugh­ters. I’m not go­ing to risk leav­ing them. Not for their sake, but for mine.”

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