Dario Franchitti survives airborne IndyCar crash – video
Scottish driver fractures his back in horrific accident, with echoes of the crash that killed Dan Wheldon
SCOTTISH racing driver Dario Franchitti has fractured his spine in a horrifying airborne crash at the IndyCar Grand Prix in Houston. Franchitti's car took off during the final lap of the race, after he clipped Takuma Sato, and flew into fencing.
Thirteen spectators were also injured by flying debris when the Ganassi racing car partially disintegrated as it hit the catch fence at the side of the circuit.
Franchitti's cockpit survived the impact and came to a standstill in the middle of the racetrack. Ambulance crews cut him from the wreckage and took him to hospital suffering from concussion, a fractured vertebra and a broken right ankle. He will not require surgery on the back injury, according to IndyCar medical consultant Terry Trammel.
The spectacular crash came almost two years to the day after another British IndyCar driver, Dave Wheldon, died in a similar incident in Las Vegas.
"Wheldon's death triggered a major safety drive in IndyCar with new cars introduced last season," reports the Daily Telegraph. "Franchitti's crash on Sunday was far from his first. He injured his back in a motorcyle crash while on holiday in 2003, flipped his car twice in the space of two weeks during the 2007 season, first at Michigan and then again at Kentucky, and hurt his ankle in a stock car crash in 2008." ·