Inside history of Top Gear’s dangerous crashes from Freddie Flintoff’s smash to Richard Hammond’s near-death coma | The Sun

FLAGSHIP BBC shop Top Gear is facing uncertainty after the latest horror smash causing severe and lasting injuries for Freddie Flintoff.

The co-presenter has been seen back in public working with England cricketers preparing for the upcoming World Cup.

Flintoff's crash last December which saw him only narrowly escape death is just the latest in a series to mar the BBC motoring show.

Former presenter Richard Hammond narrowly escaped death in a crash while filming for Top Gear back in 2006.


Flintoff was airlifted to hospital last December after a horror accident while filming at Dunsfold Park Aerodrome near Cranleigh in Surrey.

Freddie suffered severe injuries to his jaw as well broken ribs after the roofless high-speed, three-wheel car he was driving flipped and slid along a track.

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He has rarely been seen since but returned to the public eye last Friday when joining coaching staff at Cardiff's Sophia Gardens for England's one-day international match against New Zealand.

And the cricket legend who helped England win the Ashes in 2005 for the first time in 18 years today made his second appearance.

The dad-of-four beamed while wearing an England training kit, taking part in net sessions at the Kia Oval in south London.

Filming has stopped on Top Gear since Flintoff's crash, with no confirmation the former cricketer Andrew – nicknamed Freddie – would return alongside co-hosts Paddy McGuinness and Chris Harris.

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The Health and Safety Executive ruled Flintoff's crash did not meet the threshold for further investigation.

Yet an independent review was ordered and there are suggestions its recommendations could bar amateur drivers from taking part in dangerous stunts.


Hammond has endured several crashes, the most life-threatening coming in 2007 when one of three presenters alongside Jeremy Clarkson and James May.

The dad-of-two was preparing to run at speeds of about 288mph in ajet-propelled Vampire Dragster.

But on his final run he was launched off the track when his front left tyre failed and was rushed to hospital, suffering brain damage.

He later told of suffering depression, paranoia and memory loss in the aftermath of the crash.

He spent five weeks recovering from his injuries, including two in a medically-induced coma.

Eleven years later he cheated death again, although this time filming Amazon Prime series The Grand Tour after his departure from Top Gear along with Clarkson and May.

He was driving a £2million supercar in June 2017 when he lost control and it flipped and burst into flames in St Gallen, Switzerland.

He was airlifted to hospital after crawling the wreckage.

Hammond later spoke from his hospital bed to apologise to his wife and daughters for continuing such daredevil stunts.

He also admitted he thought he was going to die, as he described the ordeal as like being "inside a tumble dryer full of bricks".

That came just three months after he came off a motorbike In Mozambique in southern Africa, hitting his head and lying unconscious on the road.


Clarkson suffered various injuries while filming for the show, including banging his head on a door while driving an MG SV in 2003.

The following year he broke his thumb when deliberately crashing a Volvo 760 GLE into a wall, then in 2005 blamed two slipped discs in his back on power-sliding for the show in a TVR Sagaris.

May hasn't escaped being hurt either, banging his head several times on an in-car camera while driving a Porsche Panamera in a a race with the Royal Mail from the Scilly Isles to Orkney in Scotland in 2009.

He was also left bloodied when being flung to the ground when trying to tow a car out of a ditch in Syria while filming a Christmas special in 2010.

And he needed hospital treatment last year when slamming a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8 into a wall at 75mph for a stunt for an episode of The Grand Tour.


At the show's peak Clarkson, Hammond and May were attracting audiences of 6.5million, although the more recent programmes have been watched by up to 6million.

The BBC suspended Clarkson in March 2015 after he allegedly punched a show producer in a row over long shooting hours and a lack of hot food at their hotel one evening.

His contract was not renewed and Hammond and May quit with him, before making their new motoring show The Grand Tour together with Amazon.

It has so far run for five series since debuting in November 2016.

The BBC relaunched Top Gear in 2016 with a new presenting team including Chris Evans and Friends sitcom star Matt LeBlanc.


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The latest line-up of Flintoff, McGuinness and Harris started together in 2019.

The Sun Online has approached the BBC for a response.

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