Canadian Grand Prix Marshal Killed in Freak Post-Race Accident | Edmunds

Canadian Grand Prix Marshal Killed in Freak Post-Race Accident

Just the Facts:
  • A track marshal was struck and killed by a mobile crane after Sunday's Canadian Grand Prix.
  • The man was helping to remove the wrecked car of driver Esteban Gutierrez at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
  • The man apparently dropped a radio and was run over when he bent to pick it up.

MONTREAL, Quebec — A track marshal at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve was killed in a freak accident after the completion of Sunday's Canadian Grand Prix Formula 1 race. Track officials issued a condolence statement, but offered few details about the fatal incident.

The man, whose name was not released, was assisting in removal of a crashed racecar, the Sauber of driver Esteban Gutierrez, when he was hit and run over by a mobile crane being used to lift the damaged car. Reports said the man dropped his radio and was hit and run over when he bent to pick it up.

"My dearest condolences to the family of the marshal who lost his life today, our prayers for him and his family. RIP," said Gutierrez on Twitter.

The man was described by race promoter Francois Dumontier as a 38-year-old track marshal who had worked at the track for 10 years.

According to sanctioning body Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile, the man was treated at the track medical center before being transferred to Montreal's Sacre-Coeur hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Gutierrez's car, judged by officials to be out of harm's way, was left in place after he crashed and the car was being cleared after completion of the race, which had no major incidents and was won by Sebastian Vettel.

The accident happened at about 6 p.m.

It's another in a series of bizarre and tragic events that have marred the 2013 auto-racing season, from the grassroots level to the top tiers of the sport.

Two people were killed and three military veterans competing in the Dakar Rally were injured in a traffic crash in January in Peru and more than two dozen fans were injured, two of them seriously, in February by debris from a crash during a preliminary event to the Daytona 500.

Two people attending a race at a northern California dirt track were killed when they were struck by a sprint car in March.

On Memorial Day weekend, the malfunction of an aerial Fox Sports television camera during the Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in North Carolina resulted in three spectators being taken to local hospitals. The incident also caused a red-flag delay after several racecars were damaged by a rope dangling from the overhead camera.

Also during that weekend, two drivers in Nevada and one in Indiana were killed in racing crashes.

Additionally, security measures at all sports and entertainment events, including auto races, have been tightened in the aftermath of the bombing at the Boston Marathon in April.

Edmunds says: A huge cadre of professional and highly capable volunteer workers — who subject themselves to some out-of-the-ordinary risks — is necessary for all motorsport activities. Sunday's incident in Montreal was a freak occurrence, not a consequence of the dangers of motor racing, but a tragic loss for the sport nonetheless.

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