British racing driver Henry Surtees was killed Sunday during a Formula Two race when a stray tire coming loose from a separate wreck bounced onto the track and collided with his head. Henry, who was 18, died instantly.
“Henry had followed his heart from the time he first sat in a kart,” said [John Surtees,] the 1964 Formula One world champion. “He treated seriously the balance between motorsport and school, having just finished his A-levels. The world beckoned and he was thriving on the freedom to concentrate on his motorsport.
Johnathan Palmer, chief executive of MotorSport Vision:
“On Sunday morning my 18 year-old son, Jolyon, and Henry were sat together, amidst all the F2 drivers, joking and signing autographs for fans. In the afternoon race Henry was just half a second or so behind Jolyon, trying to move forward after an earlier spin. As they both dived down towards Sheene, the bouncing wheel just missed Jolyon, but hit Henry, who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. via.”
Video of the original crash and Surtees’ collision with the tire was captured on video, which has been posted after the jump for viewing at your discretion. I didn’t post this to bum everyone out as much as recognize an athlete who was taken from us too soon. And I guess this is where I’d say something profound about the frailty of life or offer sympathy that too often comes off as emotionally empty rhetoric. But this is truly sad.