Marshal Killed in Canadian Grand Prix Accident

Canadian GP Gutierrez crash

A marshal at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve died yesterday near the end of the Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix after he was struck by a recovery vehicle. The man was helping clear the track of debris following Esteban Gutiérrez’ crash when he dropped his radio and bent over to pick it up. The driver of the crane used to pick up the wrecked Sauber didn’t see the marshal, who stumbled and was run over by the vehicle. The marshal regained consciousness after being hit, and he was airlifted to Hôpital du Sacré-Cœur de Montréal, where he unfortunately succumbed to his injuries. The last time a marshal was killed in an F1 race was at Australia in 2001.

The marshal had been a member of the Automobile Club de l’Île Notre Dame and had volunteered to work the weekend of the Canadian GP. CTV News also reports that the worker had served at the race track for 10 years.

While racing is an inherently dangerous sport, serious efforts have been made over the last 20 years to safeguard against serious injuries, especially following the death of Ayrton Senna in 1994. While Senna remains the last F1 driver killed, when race cars are involved in violent accidents, debris including tires and shrapnel are ejected in unpredictable patterns. The death in Australia in 2001 was a result of such flying debris.

The man’s name has not yet been released. Our thoughts and condolences go out to his friends and family.

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About Cameron Rogers

Cameron Rogers is the founder and lead writer at Downshift Autos, the only automotive blog on the Internet*. Born in the back of an AMC Gremlin, Cameron vowed to never let this extraordinarily embarrassing detail define him, so help him God. He drives a GTI but absolutely will not shut up about it if somebody asks. He will not hesitate to let people know that no, they shouldn't get a Porsche 911 when a Morgan 3 Wheeler is so obviously the superior choice. He is obsessed with the seats of a Carrera GT and the steering wheel of a Fisker Karma. He once sat in the driver's seat of a Tesla Model S, his greatest accomplishment to date. He is just now realizing that writing an autobiography, however miniscule, in the third person is odd and unnerving. *As of this writing, Cameron has been informed that there are, in fact, many websites and blogs centered around cars and car culture. He regrets his grievous error.

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