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Loosing shoes after accidents..


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#1 tyrrellp34

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Posted 08 April 2004 - 22:16

I have a very strange question. What happened into a racing car meanwhile a crash that some drivers loose their shoes after big shunts? Maybe you remember Andrea de Cesaris’ crash in Long Beach 1982 where he lost climb out with only one shoe..?

I also saw once a photo from the Ostkurve after Depailler’s fatal crash and there was also a single shoe on the road.

Can one explain this?

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#2 Paul Taylor

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Posted 08 April 2004 - 23:11

You can only assume that the driver's shoes were caught on the bodywork or the pedals of the car, and came off!

I don't necessarily think there is a particular reason :confused: Not that it has any relevance, Marimon was still wearing his shoes after his 'Ring crash in 1954, I don't recall Rindt losing a shoe after his Monza '70 crash, but Cevert lost a shoe or two at the Glen in '73, so, it's not as if there's a particular pattern to the relation of the damage to the car vs. the loss of shoes. I do remember de Cesaris climbing out minus a shoe.

I recall someone having a single-seater accident recently, and needing the safety crew to cut them out of the car because they got their foot stuck between the pedals :p Anyone remember that? They were uninjured of course...

Maybe people can document the times where drivers have lost a shoe in accidents :p (fatal or otherwise :rolleyes: )

#3 panzani

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Posted 08 April 2004 - 23:24

Perhaps the following image sequence could help you find out: Álvaro Niemayer.
It belongs to this page: Anísio Campos.

#4 Manfred Cubenoggin

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Posted 08 April 2004 - 23:51

Paul Taylor:

Your story...

"...I recall someone having a single-seater accident recently, and needing the safety crew to cut them out of the car because they got their foot stuck between the pedals..."

...has a personal ring to it. While mine wasn't so dramatic as to require the aid of marshals to chop me out of my pranged Crossle, I met a similar fate just the same when, in qualifying for a pro-FF race in 1979, I biffed a tire wall on the exit of the last corner at Moroso Motorsport Park(then, West Palm Beach Raceway, IIRC). Tire walls do a great job of deflecting fendered cars and absorbing energy but they can be disaster for open wheelers. I merely kissed the wall only to have it grab the car and hurl it into the air. My mechanic spoke to corner workers shortly after and they told him the Crossle came within an ace of going on its lid. Wouldn't know myself - eyes closed and all that. When the car stopped, I was sitting imobile in the middle of track with the rest of the FF crazies bombing down on me. I attempted a hasty exit from the car only to find I couldn't. Efforts to raise up out of the cockpit came to nil. My left foot was caught between the clutch pedal and the steering rack. Frustrated at this, I hauled mightily on my left leg several times and finally broke free. I quickly dashed to safety. After the long trail home to Toronto(about 1500 miles), my knee was killing me and I had to see a doctor. Apparently, I had come close to dislocating the knee joint altogether and had to go on some medication to heal the joint and ease the pain. Can't you just see the headlines? 'Race car driver injured in crash!' Ha-ha-ha.

#5 Paul Taylor

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Posted 09 April 2004 - 00:12

It's lucky you got out in time I guess :p

I think I did that once getting into my kart, I'm not sure...getting my foot stuck between the pedal and the bodywork covering the steering column...Ages ago, it was.

I'm a bit of a disaster area, anyway. Although, off-topic, I've fallen over the kart backwards whilst carrying a seven foot long piece of wood, had a brake failure going into a hairpin from a straight and injuring my arm pushing the kart back to the pits, and also tripped over the trailer forgetting it was connected to the back of the car :rolleyes:

So, maybe some of the times where the driver has lost one of their shoes is because they're a 'disaster area'. :lol:

#6 David Birchall

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Posted 09 April 2004 - 01:47

Years ago I had a cute little blond girlfriend.... Anyway, her father owned an ambulance service and one of her jobs as a teenager was to walk up the road from a motor vehicle accident and pick up the shoes. It seems people get "Blown" out of their footwear quite frequently in major accidents.
David B

#7 Gary Davies

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Posted 09 April 2004 - 04:22

I'm sorry, my pedantry overwhelmes my manners.

It's 'lose'. :|

#8 dbw

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Posted 09 April 2004 - 04:40

sort of related....a great story [photos included] in the british bugatti club magazine of ivan dutton reaching across the whirling magnito drive on a t-35 and having the entire sleeve of his sweater from the shoulder down ripped off and wrapped 'round the shaft......a similar accident occurred to a friend of mine when he had the lower part of his trowsers get tangled in the clutch of a gp bug....ever since then we always make sure to wrap our pantlegs tight at the ankle an add a couple of turns of duct tape...and short sleeved shirts well tucked in when near the engine. :up:

#9 Joe Fan

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Posted 09 April 2004 - 05:08

Masten Gregory lost his shoes after crashing a Mickey Thompson car at Indy in 1964. On my Masten Gregory homepage, I have a picture of him walking around without his shoes. See: http://www.geocities...an/mgphoto.html

#10 JB Miltonian

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Posted 09 April 2004 - 05:13

According to Professor Watkins' book, Gilles Villeneuve was missing his shoes and socks, and his feet were "quite bare", after he was thrown from his Ferrari at Zolder.

#11 tyrrellp34

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Posted 09 April 2004 - 07:03

Jochen Rindt lost his shoe too.

Here a photo from the scene after Depailler fatal accisent in Hockenheim 1980. One can see the seat of the Alfa Romeo and a single shoe

Posted Image

#12 Peter Morley

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Posted 09 April 2004 - 08:45

Originally posted by Paul Taylor
You can only assume that the driver's shoes were caught on the bodywork or the pedals of the car, and came off!

I don't necessarily think there is a particular reason :confused: Not that it has any relevance, Marimon was still wearing his shoes after his 'Ring crash in 1954, I don't recall Rindt losing a shoe after his Monza '70 crash, but Cevert lost a shoe or two at the Glen in '73, so, it's not as if there's a particular pattern to the relation of the damage to the car vs. the loss of shoes. I do remember de Cesaris climbing out minus a shoe.


There is some medical explanation.
Which goes something like:
"In times of high anxiety the blood is pumped away from the feet so they shrink".

I think it is also a common occurence in aircraft accidents.

#13 2F-001

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Posted 09 April 2004 - 10:49

This doesn't actually involve losing shoes - but it does concern the malfunction of, damage to, and subsequent encasing of... the foot:

I know someone who was competing in a Classic rally here in the UK (I think he was actually co-driving, but I forget now). He was bursting to take a leak, so eventually they pulled up somewhere for him to get out and modestly avail himself of local foliage cover. However he slipped over on the ice and injured his leg/foot quite badly - needing a cast.

I don't recall if his partner managed to get him to hospital or whether they had to summon help - but his efforts to do either we not helped by being rendered helpless with fits of laughter... and when he got to hospital the patient still hadn't managed to find the opportunity to vent his bladder and was in multiple agonies...

#14 SEdward

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Posted 09 April 2004 - 12:02

I had never seen that photo Depailler's accident. I find it quite shocking. Is that the immediate aftermath, or had the rescue crews already intervened?

Edward

#15 tyrrellp34

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Posted 09 April 2004 - 15:04

The rescue crews was already intervened, because they have found him sitting into the car which was up side down.

#16 2F-001

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Posted 09 April 2004 - 17:57

Please forgive me if my posting was too frivolous in the context of this thread - I will edit it, if it offends.

#17 Kpy

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Posted 09 April 2004 - 22:18

In the 1953 Belgian GP at Spa, Fangio, who had taken over Claes' 250F after his own had let him down, started the last lap lying third behind Ascari and Villoresi, but, with a gap of 24 seconds to Villoresi, no hope of catching up. Perhaps he misread his pit signals, for he continued on the limit, and at Stavelot he overdid things, spun and was thrown out of the car. He wasn't badly hurt - some broken teeth and a few abrasions, but he left his left shoe jammed under the clutch pedal. In his autobiography he mentions the accident, and the missing shoe, saying that drivers often came away from accidents without their shoes, since fear causes severe contraction of the muscles.
A picture of the vacated cockpit - complete with shoe - was published in Automobile Historique, May 2003.

#18 fines

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Posted 09 April 2004 - 22:44

When James Hunt tested a new way of communication with his teammate Jochen Mass at Mosport in '77, he also subsequently lost his shoes. He wasn't injured, though, except for a little bruising on his right fist...

#19 Lotus23

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Posted 09 April 2004 - 23:54

Slightly OT, but I think we're all aware of pedestrians being struck and leaving their shoes behind on the pavement.

For the past twenty-odd years, I've earned my living at a middle-sized psychiatric hospital. Shortly after I began working there, a psychotic patient escaped and ran onto a busy highway nearby. As he darted across the tarmac, he was struck by a speeding logging truck. The impact threw him 50-60 feet, killing him instantly.

I got there shortly afterwards and noticed that his two shoes were neatly sitting side-by-side in the middle of the highway, right at the point of impact.

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#20 starlet

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Posted 10 April 2004 - 12:26

Thank you very much, Kpy !

When tyrellp34 created this thread, I knew that I had seen a photograph corresponding well to the subject. But where, it was the question.
So, since yesterday, I had a horrible headache !

And, as Kpy said, it was in an article of Automobile Historique about the 1953 Belgian GP.

And here is the picture, with the explanation :

Posted Image


I hope that all this research work :mad: , will be of an interest !

#21 bill moffat

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Posted 11 April 2004 - 18:49

Shoes fly off because, as clothing goes, they are relatively heavy. Quite simply the g-forces involved in these big accidents are enormous and anything that is heavyish and peripheral tends to go flying. You see the same effect when a footballer or rugby player takes a kick with bootlaces that are not quite tight enough.

Accidents like Villeneuve's and Depailler's were akin to aircraft accidents in their ferocity, if you have ever been unfortunate enough to see the full video of Tom Pryce's accident you will have seen the same phenomenon apply to the poor track marshal.

So there you have it. No magical medical explanation, just the laws of physics. Happy Easter.

#22 tyrrellp34

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Posted 11 April 2004 - 21:10

Originally posted by bill moffat
Shoes fly off because, as clothing goes, they are relatively heavy. Quite simply the g-forces involved in these big accidents are enormous and anything that is heavyish and peripheral tends to go flying. You see the same effect when a footballer or rugby player takes a kick with bootlaces that are not quite tight enough.

Accidents like Villeneuve's and Depailler's were akin to aircraft accidents in their ferocity, if you have ever been unfortunate enough to see the full video of Tom Pryce's accident you will have seen the same phenomenon apply to the poor track marshal.

So there you have it. No magical medical explanation, just the laws of physics. Happy Easter.


Thank you! That sounds very logical for me!

#23 Crowthorne

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Posted 11 April 2004 - 21:37

Maybe my comment is a bit belated, but in Christopher Hilton's book Champions! he quotes Dave Sims saying that Jim Clark's shoes were also pinned behind the pedals of his car after his Hockenheim accident.

Tyrrellp34 :

Regarding the photo of Depailler's accident : Is that his seat as you had stated being shown next to his shoe, or could it be the front section of the monocoque which broke off due to the frontal impact of the accident?

#24 D-Type

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Posted 11 April 2004 - 21:49

Originally posted by bill moffat
Shoes fly off because, as clothing goes, they are relatively heavy. Quite simply the g-forces involved in these big accidents are enormous and anything that is heavyish and peripheral tends to go flying. You see the same effect when a footballer or rugby player takes a kick with bootlaces that are not quite tight enough.

Accidents like Villeneuve's and Depailler's were akin to aircraft accidents in their ferocity, if you have ever been unfortunate enough to see the full video of Tom Pryce's accident you will have seen the same phenomenon apply to the poor track marshal.

So there you have it. No magical medical explanation, just the laws of physics. Happy Easter.

Originally posted by Peter Morley
There is some medical explanation.
Which goes something like:
"In times of high anxiety the blood is pumped away from the feet so they shrink".

I think it is also a common occurence in aircraft accidents.


Originally posted by Lotus23
Slightly OT, but I think we're all aware of pedestrians being struck and leaving their shoes behind on the pavement.

For the past twenty-odd years, I've earned my living at a middle-sized psychiatric hospital. Shortly after I began working there, a psychotic patient escaped and ran onto a busy highway nearby. As he darted across the tarmac, he was struck by a speeding logging truck. The impact threw him 50-60 feet, killing him instantly.

I got there shortly afterwards and noticed that his two shoes were neatly sitting side-by-side in the middle of the highway, right at the point of impact.


Hmmm, Three mutually contradictory posts. Neither of the two theories explains the common case of 'pedestrians being struck and leaving their shoes behind'
The 'g-force' theory isn't compatible with the many cases of shoes being found 'neatly' rather than having been flung somewhere.
The ' blood pumped away' theory doesn't fit where the impact is sudden and there is no time for the victim to notice and for a high anxiety state to click in.

I suggest that the probable cause is that the shock of the impact leads to a reflex tightening of all the muscles in the body. The muscles tighten, this shrinks the feet slightly so the shoes become a loose fit, the ankle straightens, the foot does an imitation of a ballerina's pointed toe. This all has the effect of forcing (rather than throwing) the shoes off the feet.
A shoe lodged in the pedals is a consequence of the above, rather than being the explanation.

But I'm a mere engineer with no medical knowledge so I'll hand the question on to those with medical knowledge or direct experience.

#25 condor

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Posted 12 April 2004 - 00:33

It all sounds a bit gruesome to me.

...but does give an explanation to why I've occassionally seen the odd shoe at the side of roads. :( ....I never realised they were results of accidents....but often wondered why they were there.

#26 tyrrellp34

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Posted 12 April 2004 - 06:20

Originally posted by Crowthorne

Tyrrellp34 :

Regarding the photo of Depailler's accident : Is that his seat as you had stated being shown next to his shoe, or could it be the front section of the monocoque which broke off due to the frontal impact of the accident?


It is his seat. I have more photos but don't want to show it because otherwise the german police will catch me.

#27 bonescro

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Posted 12 April 2004 - 07:24

Originally posted by David Birchall
Years ago I had a cute little blond girlfriend.... Anyway, her father owned an ambulance service and one of her jobs as a teenager was to walk up the road from a motor vehicle accident and pick up the shoes. It seems people get "Blown" out of their footwear quite frequently in major accidents.
David B


Yes. I have heard of this. In fact, one of my employees witnessed two drunk idiots stepping out in front of a truck doing 55.
It knocked both pairs of shoes off the bodies.

#28 bill moffat

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Posted 12 April 2004 - 07:47

Originally posted by D-Type


I suggest that the probable cause is that the shock of the impact leads to a reflex tightening of all the muscles in the body. The muscles tighten, this shrinks the feet slightly so the shoes become a loose fit, the ankle straightens, the foot does an imitation of a ballerina's pointed toe. This all has the effect of forcing (rather than throwing) the shoes off the feet.
A shoe lodged in the pedals is a consequence of the above, rather than being the explanation.

But I'm a mere engineer with no medical knowledge so I'll hand the question on to those with medical knowledge or direct experience.


er, how do I put this ? I've attended far too many big accidents and the mystical 2 shoes lined up neatly on the pavement is not the usual scenario (although I don't doubt that it has been seen). Shoes will often be recovered from opposite sides of a motorway carriageway, from front gardens and the occasional roof-top. Attend an aircraft accident and the velocity/g-forces involved will make a "debris field" such that you may need a Land Rover and a pair of hiking boots to conduct a proper search.

The foot is made up of an intricate jig-saw of 26 bones attached by a network of incredibly strong ligaments/tendons...strong enough to give your feet their "arches" (unless you are flat footed). The capacity for shrinkage due to muscular contracture or peripheral shut-down of circulation is minimal.

Anyway it's Easter Monday and motor sport time. Can't believe that it was 35 years ago this Easter weekend that (albeit as a child) I witnessed F5000 at Brands for the first time..irrespective of flying shoes, time certainly does fly.

#29 xkssFrankOpalka

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Posted 13 April 2004 - 02:53

I also have seen shoes in the road and then further down seen the person who was hit.

#30 David Birchall

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Posted 13 April 2004 - 03:04

Originally posted by bill moffat


Anyway it's Easter Monday and motor sport time. Can't believe that it was 35 years ago this Easter weekend that (albeit as a child) I witnessed F5000 at Brands for the first time..irrespective of flying shoes, time certainly does fly.


How about those Yankees! eh Bill? :lol:

#31 dbltop

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Posted 13 April 2004 - 06:55

Given the contents of this thread, one would rather talk about the Yankees, than the red socks.














Sorry, couldn't help myself.

#32 bill moffat

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Posted 13 April 2004 - 09:56

Originally posted by dbltop
Given the contents of this thread, one would rather talk about the Yankees, than the red socks.


Sorry, couldn't help myself.


:lol: :eek: :D ..thanks for that, I was worried that I was helping this evolve into a rather "dark" thread !!