Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Henry Surtees

Henry Surtees killed in race crash

At Brands Hatch on 19 July 2009, during a Formula Two race, Surtees was hit on the head by a wheel from the car of Jack Clarke after Clarke spun into the wall exiting Westfield Bend. The wheel broke its tether and bounced back across the track into the following group of cars and collided with Surtees' helmet. The mass of the wheel assembly hitting his head was 29 kilograms (64 lb). The car continued straight ahead into the barrier on the approach to Sheene Curve, also losing a wheel, and came to rest at the end of the curve with its remaining rear wheel still spinning. This indicated that Surtees had lost consciousness, with his foot still pressing the accelerator.

Surtees was extricated from the car and taken to the circuit's medical centre, where he was stabilized before being transferred to the Royal London Hospital. He was pronounced dead later that day. His death was attributed to severe head injuries, inflicted by colliding with the wheel rather than the following crash with the barriers. Surtees' funeral took place on 30 July at Worth Abbey, near Turners Hill, West Sussex.