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Guilty and sentenced?

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#1 Wielki Wódz

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Posted 31 January 2003 - 22:26

Now the Senna's accident case is still pending before Italian High Court. The other story is - why prosecutors are NOT investigating so zealously in Ratzenberger's case, for example? (it is a rhetorical question ;) :confused: )
There were surely many similar cases connected with serious accidents in motorsport, fatal or near fatal. And not rhetorical: was whenever anybody found guilty and sentenced?


#2 WGD706

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Posted 31 January 2003 - 22:46

It was found that a front wing flap had fallen fallen off the car and launched it off the ground at 200mph, hit the wall at around 180mph and came to a halt with Ratzenberger slumped in the wreck. He was beyond help but was flown to hospital in Bologna, where he was officially certified dead a few minutes after arrival.
I agree with you that this should have also been investigated and SIMTEK along with Nick Wirth looked at as Williams and Head and Newey were.
Of course,I don't know if the wing flap fell off on its own or had been damaged earlier in the qualifying session.

#3 mp4

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Posted 31 January 2003 - 23:02

I remember hearing that Roland had gone slighty off course before and this may have contributed to the damage and failure of his wing.
Regardless, I never heard of any further investigation into his accident.
Can anyone say "yeah" or "nay" to what I've written?
Roland had a very nice career in Group C before he started in F1.
He's never been forgotten.

#4 ehagar

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Posted 31 January 2003 - 23:11

Has a driver ever officially died at a track at Monza, or is it always 'enroute' or 'in hospital'? Are they that afraid of Italian law?

#5 WGD706

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Posted 31 January 2003 - 23:26

Italian GP,1961, Von Trips was thrown from the car and was killed along with 14 spectators.
Italian GP,1970,Rindt crashed heavily into the barriers;,the car was severely damaged and Rindt was taken to hospital but was dead on arrival.

#6 Ray Bell

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Posted 31 January 2003 - 23:37

Three in one day between the wars...

But maybe the official action has become more pronounced in latter days?

#7 BS Levy

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Posted 01 February 2003 - 03:52

This may sound harsh, but I think a racing driver takes on the same acceptance of mechanical risks job description as a test pilot when he gets in the bloody car. Expecting anybody from the designer to the chap that beads the welds to the guy with the air gun on wheel changes to be either omniscent or perfect (or at least more perfect than the driver, who now and then may get a bit sloppy, greedy or full of himself and put it in the fences) is just not realistic.

And for sure we don't want a lot of finger-pointing, fault-finding and partialing out of blame and all-holy criminal and/or financial justice (along with a deep watering trough for the lawyers!) changing the face and character of our sport. You think the Greens and the anti-tobacco lobbies are the biggest of our worries? Just look at the liability avalanche and "who's to blame for this" mentality coursing through our American legal system and think again.

#8 ensign14

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Posted 01 February 2003 - 09:21

I don't think anyone doubts that serious negligence should be investigated as a criminal offence. But in motor racing things are necessarily pushed to their limit and things do fail without negligence.

As for motor racing criminal cases, I think Kaye Don was imprisoned on the Isle of Man for an accident in which his riding mechanic was killed?

There have been civil cases, of course - Hall vs the BRDC was a famous one, arising out of the multi-car Talbot crash in the Double Twelve at Brooklands in 1930 (full description in Anthony Blight's wonderful book 'Georges Roesch & the Invincible Talbots', albeit the title seems to me misleading as in the book the Talbots seem very much vincible!). In that the Court of Appeal decided that "Motor Racing Is Dangerous" and that the track owners and operators were not liable for the consequences of accidents. It had already been decided that the drivers were not responsible for the accident, which was deemed to be 'one of those things'.

For those unfamiliar, in English criminal law, to find someone guilty you need to prove beyond reasonable doubt that they committed a crime (95% likely); in civil law, to find someone liable for a civil penalty (i.e. damages or an injunction or suchlike) you're looking at a balance of probability (50.1% likely).

#9 stuartbrs

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Posted 01 February 2003 - 13:22

I was thinking along the same lines when I heard the Senna case had been reopened...Williams are a Ferrari competitor, and a fairly competant one at that, whereas Simtek are not , nor ever were...

And Roland raced for BMW at Bathurst in `87 did he not? ( I may be wrong ) , in a Schnitzer M3?

I wish they would just drop this whole sorry affair, leave it alone :(

#10 Ray Bell

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Posted 02 February 2003 - 01:28

You know... you could be right about the Ferrari thinking...

Lotus were always a leading light after 1961... and had to cope with the von Trips business each year when they went to Monza with a Ferrari-beating combination.