Richard Hammond doesn’t have a good track record when it comes to crashing while filming motoring shows, with the 47 year old hitting his head after coming off a motorbike in a remote part of Africa.
Hammond, who was filming in Mozambique with The Grand Tour, was knocked out after falling from the bike and hitting his head. He lay unconscious on the road in remote Mozambique, miles from medical help.
Jeremy Clarkson said of his friend’s horror motorbike crash: “He really did hurt himself quite badly.”
When asked if Hammond was taken to hospital, Clarkson quipped: “We don’t do hospitals.”
The crew for The Grand Tour raced to help Hammond, mindful that he previously suffered serious brain damage after a high speed jet-powered dragster crash 11 years ago. It is not known if he was wearing a helmet in the latest drama, but we’d say for health and safety reasons he probably was.
A source from The Grand Tour has said: “Richard was travelling quite fast when he came off. It caused instant horror on set. There was a lot of concern. If his injuries had been serious it wouldn’t have been easy to get medical attention. It’s very remote there and facilities are basic.”
“The lads are known for having a laugh on set but Richard’s previous accident is fresh in their minds,” the source also mentioned. “They were all shaken by the latest incident. But now they know Richard is fine they are back to jokes and banter.”
The accident is expected to feature in Series 2 of The Grand Tour, which will be available to stream on Amazon Prime later this year.
Hammond is no stranger to high speed accidents
Just 11 years ago, Richard Hammond was severely injured when he crashed a jet-powered dragster he was piloting, called Vampire. The Vampire once held the British land speed record at 483.3kph (483mph) and was powered by a single Bristol-Siddeley Orpheus after-burning turbojet engine, producing 10,000hp. Some say the accident occurred during an attempt by Richard to break the British land speed record, but a report following accident found that Top Gear producer Andy Wilman vetoed the idea, due to the risk involved.
The accident happened whilst Richard was completing a 7th and final run to collect extra footage for the segment, when his front-right tyre disintegrated, and according to witness and paramedic Dave Ogden, “one of the parachutes had deployed but it went on to the grass and spun over and over before coming to a rest about 100 yards from us.”
The emergency crew quickly arrived at the car, finding it inverted and partially embedded in the grass. During the roll, Richard’s helmet had embedded itself into the ground, flipping the visor up and forcing soil into his mouth and damaging his left eye. Rescuers felt a pulse and heard the unconscious Richard breathing before the car was turned upright. Richard was cut free with hydraulic shears, and placed on a backboard. He was then transported by the Yorkshire Air Ambulance to the neurological unit of the Leeds General Infirmary.
Richard Hammond said the accident changed him and is now filed away “under the major events of my life, along with passing 40, getting married, having my daughters.”