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Man in critical condition after Brighton speed trials crash
A sidecar passenger died at a historic speed trials event when the motorbike she was travelling on crashed into a barrier.
The 38-year-old woman from Suffolk died following a crash at the Brighton and Hove Motor Club organised speed trials in Madeira Drive, Brighton on Saturday (September 8).
Yesterday (September 9), a 64-year-old man from London remained in a critical condition in Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton following the horror crash at just before 6.15pm on Saturday.
The pair, who were racing in a motorbike and sidecar, failed to stop at the end of the track on Madeira Drive, Brighton, near Duke’s Mound and smashed into a barrier.
A police investigation is now under way to establish how the accident happened.
The event, which has been running since 1905 and claims to be the longest-running motorsport event in the world, was cancelled immediately after the crash.
Leonard Wooller, vice chair of the Brighton and Hove Motor Club, said: “We don’t know what the cause of the accident was and we will have to wait for the results of the investigation.
“We’ve not had a fatality at the event for many, many years.
“It was a great event that unfortunately started slowly because police were investigating the stabbing in Madeira Drive and ended badly with this accident.”
Allan Weyman, who was visiting the event from Watford, said: “I was there and saw the driver and pillion passenger lining up to do their run earlier in the day and thought at the time what an extraordinary looking machine unlike any of the others.
“I was concerned to see the helicopter land as I approached the scene of the crash looking down from the main road, and by the general body language of those on the scene plus the police presence I feared the worse.
“My heart goes out the woman's family and the driver of this machine.”
'Lost for words'
Sam Morgan, 22 from Saltdean, said he heard a big bang when the accident happened.
He added: “The problem with Madeira Drive is that it’s really bumpy.
“I don’t know whether the clutch failed to disengage or if they hit a bump and skidded.”
Andrew Pack wrote on The Argus website: “Having competed against both these guys I am at a loss for words.
“I can only express my condolences for the family concerned and hope a recovery is made by the other. Thoughts from all our team are with you.”
The annual Ace Café Reunion Weekend, also in Madeira Drive, went ahead as planned yesterday where organisers estimated numbers could have reached up to 40,000.
Tens of thousands of spectators had headed to the seafront for the historic speed trials on Saturday with almost 400 motorists scheduled to take part in the quarter mile drag run along the seafront in classic cars and bikes.
Sussex Police are appealing for witnesses to the crash with photographs or videos of what happened to come forward.
They should contact them on 101 referencing Operation Marsden.
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