TV celebrity and a member of the much-loved hosting trio behind the Amazon's The Grand Tour series, Richard Hammond, was immediately airlifted to a hospital following a close call when he was involved in a fiery car crash in a Swiss mountain race. The 47-year-old TV personality was maneuvering a rare Rimac Concept_One during the Bregrennen Hemberg, a mountainside hillclimb event held in St Gallen, while shooting for a feature video set that will be part of the series' second season.
A bystander caught the shocking accident on film and it showed Hammond driving the all-electric supercar when without warning something went terribly wrong as he failed to complete a left turn and skidded off road and into the side of the hill. He freed himself off the vehicle and got out of the car before the Concept_One went up in flames, according to a statement posted in The Grand Tour's official Facebook page.
He was then quickly transported via helicopter to the St Gallen hospital to assess his condition. It looks like he will continue to live another day, as he did not suffer any life-threatening injuries. Rimac Concept_One is an all-electric car that was produced by the Croatian firm Rimac Automobili. It was not known how fast Hammond's car was travelling when it veered off course.
The Concept_One has a recorded top speed of 355 kmh (220 mph). Furthermore, this is not the first time Hammond has a close brush with death, as he almost died in 2006 when he was involved in a high-speed crash driving a jet-powered vehicle for a Top Gear episode. Hammond reportedly suffered brain injuries after the Vampire dragster spun out of control while travelling at around 288 mph.
During the accident, Hammond's helmet planted into the ground with the visor open, pushing soil into his mouth and damaging his left eye. The presenter made a miraculous recovery but later reported that he experienced loss of memory, depression and difficulties with emotional experiences. In the early part of this year, he also fell off a motorcycle in a secluded part of Mozambique during a shoot for The Grand Tour.
As of now, the definite cause of the crash is still unknown, but the staff of The Grand Tour has disclosed that the accident will be thoroughly investigated to reveal the real cause of the car crash. By now, we can heave a sigh of relief as he is now out of danger and is recuperating in the hospital from a fractured knee. Jeremy Clarkson, his co-host in the auto series, shared his emotions in a tweet, saying that it was the biggest crash he has ever seen and the most frightening one to date but incredibly Hammond seems to be mostly OK. For now, it has not been confirmed yet if the accident will be included in one of the episodes of the show's second season that will be launched in October of this year.