Tag Archives: accident

Coroner’s Inquest into Search and Rescue Death

December 7, 2012


On November 24, a coroner’s inquest into the death of search and rescue volunteer Sheilah Sweatman released its recommendations. Sweatmen drowned while trying to recover the body of a woman in a vehicle submerged in the Goat River, near Creston, BC (click here for the CBC story).

A documentary TV crew working on a series on SAR filmed her death. The footage was shown at the inquest but has not been made public. The video shows that after Sweatman connected a steel cable onto the submerged vehicle, the vehicle shifted and moved downstream causing Sweatman to be bucked off the raft and her leg entangled in the cable. Sweatman struggled to keep her head above water for more than five minutes. SAR volunteers tried to row to her and swim to her and give her a rope.

Sweatman’s brother had harsh criticism saying there was no heroics, just a bunch of complacent witnesses standing around.

The coroner’s inquest recommended to Emergency Management British Columbia (EMBC) and the British Columbia Search and Rescue Association (BCSARA) the following:

1. That Emergency Management British Columbia (EMBC) expand the existing Swift Water Task Force to include members of search and rescue operations as well as the RCMP, B.C. River Guides Association, B.C. River Outfitters Association, WorkSafeBC and any other appropriate stakeholders.

2. That EMBC and the B.C. Search and Rescue Association (BCSARA) develop universal standards for swift water rescue and recovery training to ensure consistent language and training applications. These universal standards would require all swift water training providers to conform to these prescribed standards.

3. That EMBC and BCSARA develop universal standards for swift water rescue and recovery equipment.

4. That an audit be conducted of all Search and Rescue (SAR) communities to ensure that each SAR community has the required equipment (including personal protective equipment) and training for their respective communities based on their unique areas. Where it is determined that there is a lack of the required equipment and/or training for that area, immediate consultation with BCSARA and EMBC must occur to determine steps to obtain the equipment and/or training with the goal of safety of all SAR members in BC.

5. That EMBC review and evaluate funding models to better support SAR operations, training and equipment similar to Volunteer Fire Departments’ funding.

6. That Swift Water teams use only their own equipment during search and rescue operations whenever possible. If any unfamiliar equipment is introduced into a task, a proper risk assessment must be completed. The appropriate tools for self rescue and companion rescue must be immediately accessible.

7. That the Volunteer Policy and Procedures Manual specifically the policy for “Utilization of SAR Volunteers for SAR Activities Policy” be reviewed by EMBC to clarify and amend, where required, the roles and responsibilities of varying agencies involved in SAR activities. These groups include, but are not limited to SAR, policing agencies, Coroner, Parks Canada, BC Ambulance and Fire Services.

8. That during an operation, a specific Safety Officer be designated whenever possible. This Safety Officer’s position will be their sole function.

9. That EMBC with the assistance of the SAR stakeholders develop a standardized risk assessment tool for use in Swift Water operations.

In my view, most of the recommendations miss the point and are moot. While a coroner’s inquest is not charged with determining fault, these recommendations largely avoid identifying the factors which caused or contributed to Sweatman’s death. Many of the recommendations are neither novel nor new. As BCSARA president Don Bindon – who I had the honour of working with in SAR in the late 1990s while he was with the RCMP – acknowledged as much in saying, “They are not foreign to us at all. We are implementing some of them already and we’re going to implement the rest to the best of our ability.”

The biggest thing though is Recommendation 6 which stated that the appropriate tools for self-rescue and companion rescue must be immediately accessible.

Combining the above recommendation with the maxim in SAR that search and rescuers not be unnecessarily exposed to risk – which in the circumstances of a body recovery where the sense of urgency is minimal ought to mean that the risk exposure should be very low – clearly shows that something went terribly wrong.

Search and rescue is inherently dangerous. Approximately 6 volunteer (unpaid professional) search and rescuers have tragically died in training or missions in BC in the last 20 years; this averages to 0.3 fatalities per year.

Search and rescuers are true heroes that deserve our gratitude. Their professionalism, technical expertise and tolerance for risk are unparalleled. Our thoughts and prayers go to Sheilah Sweatman’s family and friends and to the Nelson Search and Rescue Group.

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Hobbin v. Vertical Descents Ltd [2011] ScotsCS CSOH_207

January 11, 2012


The case of Sara Hobbin v. Vertical Descents seems eerily related to Jon’s earlier post on Heli-skiing (https://sportslawnews.wordpress.com/2012/01/07/perspective-and-probability/). Essentially this case concerns a head injury to a novice participant in a 2007 Canyoning activity in the Lake District.

Miss Hobbins (the claimant) and her then partner (Geraint Grace) had aimed to climb Ben Nevis, but wanted another activity to do the day before their climb. After reading an advertising leaflet for Vertical Descents Ltd (the defendants), they settled on Canyoning – “a method of descending canyons, streams, ravines and other water-courses by means of sliding, jumping and scrambling.” [2]. Indeed, Vertical Descents Ltd were an experienced outdoor activity company and had been the first company in Scotland to offer the activity.

After attending a safety briefing and signing a disclaimer form, the participants were given protective clothing (wetsuit, buoyancy aid and helmet) and driven to the easiest of the canyoning routes used by Vertical (Allt Gleann A’chaolis, near Kinlochleven).

The key problem for Miss Hobbin can be traced back to her failure to maintain her footing and balance during the activity. Initially, the Court heard how she was concerned prior to embarking whether her choice of footwear would be suitable (she wanted to wear baseball shoes in order to keep her hiking boots dry prior to the proposed climb the following day). At Vertical’s headquarters though, an instructor confirmed that this would be acceptable as the soft baseball shoe sole would enable them to establish “maximum contact with the surfaces” [7]. Sadly during the activity, this grip did not seem to help her. She became bogged down in marshy ground on the ascent [12], and slipped and fell in the water during the descent [14].

Ultimately the injury occurred when Miss Hobbin declined to make a jump of about 15ft into the water and was making her way down to a lower level to meet up with the rest of the group. As she was descending, she subsequently lost her footing on the rocks and fell, striking the back of her head. After a short period of time, the claimant was then assisted down the hill by her partner and an instructor and taken to hospital for observation.

In the Scottish Outer House, Court of Session, both parties argued that the claim depended on identifying the exact rock that the claimant was standing on, the Court however took a much broader view and focused on two main points:

1)      Whether the claimant should have been allowed to do the activity given that the descent was inherently risky and the claimant had been struggling with the ascent [26]. The Court however saw no reason why the claimant was unable or unwilling to continue the descent and this claim was struck out.

2)      The general credibility and reliability of the evidence as to how the accident occurred [34]. While Miss Hobbins credibility was not in question, the Court felt that her tiredness and inexperience with the topography of the canyon was not as reliable as that of the instructor (Graham Reid), who was well qualified and experienced, had led approx 80-100 canyoning trips [12] and was very familiar with the terrain and layout. As such the claim was dismissed and no liability found.


What is particularly interesting about this case is the discussion on perception of risk. Encouragingly, the Court relied on the dicta from Scout Association v. Barnes [2010] EWCA 1476 [34] acknowledging that it was not the function of the law to deter normal leisure activities. The Court also noted a number of points emphasising Miss Hobbins’ informed consent about the nature of the activity, in particular that she had:

  • Read Vertical Descent’s description of the activity (website / advertising literature)
  • Read and signed a disclaimer form for the activity which specifically highlighted the risks and nature of the canyoning [8]
  • Been given information by course instructors during a safety briefing and had been given the opportunity to ask questions
  • Been required to wear safety clothing (including a helmet)
  • Observed the site herself when she had reached the top of the ascent
  • Self-evaluated her own competence to perform the activity

Although the Court seemed approving of the claimant’s expert witness (Mr Barton) when he said that “it was the duty of an adventure company to keep risks within a tolerable level”, it did note that it was difficult to determine what constitutes the right measure of tolerance [31]. And while it is obiter in this case, therein lies the key to outdoor and adventure liability – what level of risk is acceptable? Should we have different tolerances for guides and paid clients, to hardy adventurers wishing to challenge their own limits?

As Jon’s last post foreshadowed, what is however difficult to reconcile is the perception that outdoor adventure activity is comparatively harmless:

  • At [4], the Court heard how Vertical’s website stated that “canyoning is a safe, fun and enjoyable activity for people of all ages and levels of fitness”
  • Throughout her evidence, the claimant repeated that she thought that the activity would be safe [31]
  • Mr Barton stated in cross examination that “persons on canyoning ‘taster days’ don’t want to be doing anything more risky than being on the High Street” [32] (although I suppose this depends on which High Street at what time of night!)

As Erin Langworthy’s recent Bungee Jump into the Zambezi River showed, the trouble with probabilities are that sometimes those rare accidents do happen. Is the solution therefore to ensure that consent to outdoor or adventurous activities becomes more akin to medical negligence where every material risk and percentage needs to be disclosed, or is it more akin to rugby – where consent is implied from mere participation in the activity?

The problem is that Leap of the integral of the random variable with respect to its probability measure just doesnt have the same catchy ring to it as ‘Leap of Faith’!


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Moore Winter Sports accidents

October 25, 2010


Emma Moore v. Hotelplan (T/a Inghams Travel) & Mr Adriano Tantera [2010] EWHC 276 (Ch)

This case concerns an accident while undertaking winter sports, more particularly an organised evening snowmobile (‘skidoo’) ride at the Italian ski resort of Passo Tonale in January 2007. The claimant was a 37yr old personal trainer on a group skiing holiday organised by the defendant operator (Inghams). The company subsequently joined a third party (Mr Tantera) to the action as he provided the skidoos and instructed the party as to their use.

The action arose when the claimant lost control of the skidoo as the group was descending down the mountain. The claimant collided at speed with a parked car at the foot of the slope causing spinal injury and paralysis at T5 (mid-chest).

The action was for:

  • breach of contract,
  • breach of tortuous / delictual duties owed under Articles 2050 and/or 2043 of the Italian Civil Code
  • Negligence

The case was made more complicated by the fact that the defendant denied responsibility for the activity and blamed the third party entirely, to the extent that it claimed any actions of the Ingham representative on site were merely as an agent for Mr Tantera.

The Court at [7] identified five key questions:

  1. What were the contractual arrangements for the skidoo trip?
  2. What instructions were given to the claimant as to the control of the skidoo, and in particular was she instructed in the use of the engine cut out, the cut off button?
  3. What was the cause of the claimant’s loss of control of the skidoo?
  4. Would the operation of the cut-off button have prevented the accident?
  5. Was there contributory negligence on the part of the claimant?

Taking each in turn,

Although the holiday was booked by another member on behalf of the group four months previously and purported to exclude liability for any subsequent third party excursions, the Court held at [28] that Mr Tantera operated this excursion on behalf of Inghams through a contract signed in 2002, and viewed the party as Ingham customers [16]. The Court also relied on the fact that the Skidoo’s were advertised in an Inghams’ welcome pack [11], the party paid Inghams for the trip [12], received a receipt on headed Inghams notepaper [12], were not told that the onsite representative (Ms Hodges) was acting for a third party [13], had to exclusively book the excursion through Ms Hodges [24] and had to sign disclaimers (that were subsequently not relied on as they were for a different vehicle) on behalf of Inghams [14]. Given these findings, the contract for the supply of the skidoo excursion was also impliedly subject to the original liability clause meaning that Inghams was liable for any injuries and consequent losses “caused by the lack of reasonable care and skill” on the part of Mr Tantera [29].

Having established potential liability, the next question was to establish whether the defendants through Mr Tantera had breached their duty to the group in failing to give clear operating instructions for the Skidoos. The Court heard a number of mechanical arguments relating to the Skidoos (Polaris 550 Fun Sport Edge 136 Touring snowmobiles), but essentially this section can be summarised as a factual discussion of the safety briefing. The Court heard that all members of the group chose to wear helmets, despite the fact that this was non-compulsory [33], and that several members of the group were complete novices. The party also stated unanimously that the safety briefing took 30 seconds each [34-39], and that no-one was shown what or where the cut-off switch was. This contradicted Mr Tantero’s evidence that he spent 2-3 minutes with each person and that his usual practice was to give such an instruction [41]. The most damning bit of evidence though came from Ms Hodges who described Mr Tantera’s briefing in her witness statement as:

“When he briefs each driver he first asks (in English) if it is their first time on a skidoo, then he switches on the engine himself, they are not allowed to do this. He then tests the accelerator, which is on the right, and says “this is the throttle-accelerator; it is an automatic clutch, no gears”. He then shows them the brake on the left-hand side and says “this is the brake”. Stay in line, five to six metres separation, no overtaking, no slalom.” [40]

 Unsurprisingly the Court preferred the evidence of the party and held that Mr Tantero had not shown the group the cut-off switch, thereby breaching his duty to the claimant.

 The Judge held that the accident occurred when the Skidoo was going too fast on the downhill return leg of the journey, 45mins into an otherwise uneventful trip. Although the Court heard from two expert witnesses, it preferred the defendant expert’s view that an examination of the skidoo after the accident had shown no defects with the mechanical operation of the vehicle, suggesting driver error was to blame for the accident. In particular the Judge held that the claimant most probably drove too close to the skidoo in front of her, swerving to avoid it and in her panic hitting the accelerator rather than the brake [65].

The causation question of whether an application of the cut-off switch could have prevented the accident was comparatively straightforward and the Court held at [74] that it would have done.

The only question remaining was whether the claimant was contributory negligent. At [80], the Court found that there were two errors the claimant made that materially contributed to the accident, the first was driving too close to the skidoo in front, the second was in applying the throttle rather than the brake (although the Court was careful to suggest that she should not be judged too harshly for her confusion in the ‘heat of the moment’). The Court however rejected the argument that the claimant should have noticed and applied the cut-off switch.

In summary, the Court suggested that “the Claimant created the emergency, but as a consequence of the negligence on the part of Mr Tantera in failing to instruct her as to the use of the cut-off button in an emergency, she did not have the means of dealing with it in a manner that would have avoided the accident”, although Mr Justice Owen did award 30% contributory negligence.

There are two other interesting elements to the case that are worthy of consideration, the first is a scathing judgment on the quality of the evidence from one of the defendants experts’ (a Mr Christopher Exall). At [75], the Court suggested that there were: “a number of gravely disquieting features of his evidence, culminating in the assertion in his third report, made under an expert’s declaration of truth, that he had had discussions with a Mr Michael McDowell of Polaris UK, an assertion that, as he was forced to concede in cross-examination, was subsequently untrue. I do not propose to set out the other actions on his part which on any view were indefensible for a witness under an obligation to the court to give impartial and objective evidence. But there can be no doubt that he took on the role of an advocate for the defendant. He did not give impartial evidence, and was wholly discredited as a witness. I could not place any reliance on any part of his evidence.”   Ouch!

The other comment interesting part of the judgment relates to insurance. At [17], the Court quoted from the Defendant Reps Manual Winter 06/07 which contained the following paragraph under the heading ‘Snow-mobiling’: “You will find that snow mobiling and ski-doo’s are offered in many of our ski resorts but the normal holiday insurance cover does not include any liability cover for damage, injury or death caused to third parties. The liability cover held by the operator and included in the price or offered as an extra, is unlikely to be anywhere near adequate in the event of an accident causing serious injury or death to a third party…..”

I don’t know about you, but while the Court did not comment on this paragraph, I think it is worth pausing a few minutes to reflect on it. Essentially isn’t Inghams saying they know that not only is their insurance cover excluded by the holiday contract, but that the operator’s own insurance cover is inadequate, even if purchased as an add-on extra! In fact it makes me so worried, that on my next skiing holiday, it would be perhaps be better if I Skidon’t and we stick to the planks of wood (or fibreglass!).

Youtube clip of a skidoo jump:

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If you don’t watch your kids, does that mean I don’t need to either?: An analysis of R v. Upper Bay Ltd [2010] EWCA Crim 495

August 24, 2010


This case was an appeal from a decision on 18th June in the Crown Court at Cardiff, in which Judge Hopkins QC held that Upper Bay Ltd should pay £150,000 for their breaches of s3(1) and s33(1)(a) of the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974.

The case concerns a holiday trip by the Mole family to “Splashlands” in 2005. Splashlands had a policy that all children under 8yrs old should be supervised by an appropriate adult, and that an adult could only supervise a maximum of three children. The pool also operated a policy that pool assistants (lifeguards) should challenge any child in the water not accompanied or directly supervised by an adult and ask them to stand on the poolside until the person responsible for the child is found and supervision is maintained.

That day, Mr Mole took his two sons, Chad (7yrs) and JJ (4yrs) to the pool. Neither boy could swim unaided, although they had both had limited swimming lessons previously. On the day in question, neither boy had armbands or buoyancy equipment. While Mr Mole was playing one-to-one with JJ in the shallow end, unbeknownst to Mr Mole, Chad made his way to a “bubble lounger” situated near the deep end of the pool. A few minutes later he got into difficulties, and had to be rescued by a swimmer. He was subsequently resuscitated by the lifeguards but suffered brain damage.

The question facing the Court was: who was responsible for Chad’s safety?

Mr Mole argued that because there were two lifeguards on duty in that area of the pool (but that both had their backs to the pool and instead focused on the water flume) there was a breach of duty. This breach was further exacerbated when one of the lifeguards (Jo) spoke to Chad in the vicinity of the bubble lounger and told him to return to his dad, but importantly, did NOT ask Chad to get out of the pool in accordance with the centre policy.

By contrast, the pool operators argue that Mr Mole was ultimately liable as he had a duty to supervise his children and he was negligent in not keeping both of them under close supervision and in failing to provide armbands for them. The centre further argued that the duty of pool attendants was merely to supervise and observe the pool and that they had no duty to provide for the security of visitors.

While the Court agreed with the principle that parents had a duty of care to protect their children from harm, and that Mr Mole had failed to some degree on this occasion, the Court also held that Splashlands owed a duty towards Chad.

Importantly, while the centre did not owe a guarantee of absolute safety, it did have a non-delegable duty to ensure, so far as reasonably practicable, that individuals using the facilities provided for them….were not exposed to risks to their safety or health. In particular, practical reality suggests that although parents should be expected to supervise their children, it was foreseeable that children can sometimes escape from this parental supervision. The duty of a pool operator is therefore to ensure that the risk that a child can drown is prevented. On this occasion, the centre failed to provide both adequate supervision for the deep end, and also to observe its own policy requiring unsupervised children to be challenged and to stand on poolside until appropriate supervision is found and it was right that liability should attach against it.

Because these duties are independent of each other and non-delegable, the failure of one party (in this case, Mr Mole – the parent) did not act as a defence for the failure of the other party (the pool).

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Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics,

June 27, 2010


Source: Harrison (A Child) v. Wirral Metropolitan BC (19/3/09) (unreported), Liverpool County Court, (Zurich Case)

Echoing the famous House of Lords authority of Bolton v. Stone [1951] 1 All ER 1078, a similar case was recently brought by a six year old boy struck by a golf ball while he was in a park adjacent to a golf course. The boy alleged the golf club (not literally the driver used but the organisation!) were liable in negligence for:

  • Not having built a higher fence (Bolton)
  • Using a fence with broken wire mesh in places which would allow a ball to pass through
  • Failing to put warning signs in place (although I would be impressed by a six year olds reading prowess, it may be pictorial signs might have been better?)
  • Failing to carry out a risk assessment (Poppleton / Uren)

By contrast, the defendants suggested that a 4m high fence was suitable and therefore satisfied their duty towards the public. They also suggested that the risk of a golf ball leaving the area and striking someone was so small that it did not justify further precautions being taken (the Bolton argument). Liverpool County Court heard evidence that in the five years prior to the incident, there had been few, if any, misdirected golf balls leaving the area and no previous injuries reported in that period. While these statistics are not as impressive as those cited in Bolton, they are enough to suggest that the defendant club had met their duty of care. Given these conclusions, while the injury was a tragic accident caused by golf, the claim against the club failed.

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Just what exactly is the standard of a Bulgarian ski instructor?

March 19, 2010


Gouldbourn v. Balkan Holidays Ltd & Another (2010) CA (Civ) (Unreported) 16th March

The claimant (Gouldbourn) appealed against a first instance decision dismissing her claim for damages following a knee injury while skiing. The accident arose while the claimant was on a ski holiday in Bulgaria. She had earlier been on a nursery slope practising snowplough turns before the group moved onto another slope with an experienced instructor. While following the instructor down, the claimant lost control on her third snowplough turn and injured her knee.

Although both parties accepted that liability arose under the Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992 reg.15(2), there was a dispute between them as to the appropriate standard of care. The claimant argued that the relevant standard was the FIS Rules for Safety in Winter Sports Centres “which imposed, among other things, a duty on ski schools, instructors and guides never to allow pupils to take any risk beyond their capabilities.” By contrast, the ski school argued that the appropriate standard was to be judged against the local standards in Bulgaria (a view also held by the initial trial judge).

The Court of Appeal held that the FIS Rules might have imposed a duty on ski instructors never to allow pupils to take any risk beyond their capabilities, but it did not identify or mandate how that duty was to be implemented. They therefore held that the trial judge was right to use the Bulgarian local standard (and no evidence was put before the court suggesting the instructor breached this standard). Indeed, the court held it was not unreasonable or inappropriate for the ski instructor to have taken the claimant on the slope they did. Given this finding, the only logical outcome was to dismiss the case.

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When Social Media Collides with the Law

January 11, 2010



On 12 January 2008, a 15 passenger van carrying a Canadian high school basketball team from Bathurst, New Brunswick collided with a transport truck and trailer. Seven boys between the ages of 15 and 18 were killed along with the 51 year old wife of the team coach.

The truck and trailer were owned by Atlantic Wholesales Ltd. and Loblaws Inc. respectively. Loblaws is Canada’s largest food distributor. The two companies filed a statement of claim on 22 December 2009 against the van rental agency and Wayne Lord, the Bathurst High School basketball coach who was the driver of the van. The statement of claim alleged that Bathurst Van Inc. was negligent in its failure to maintain a suitably safe and proper vehicle and also alleged that Mr. Lord was negligent in the crash. Loblaws Inc. and Atlantic Wholesales Ltd. claimed special damages totalling $41,414.36 CDN, costs plus Harmonized Sales Tax, and interest.

The lawsuit was made public on 9 January 2010 and set off a firestorm of protest against Loblaws. Karen Blotnicky, associate professor of marketing at Mount St. Vincent University in Halifax, NS correctly points out that Loblaws was caught flat-footed and under-estimated the power of social media. For example, within 60 minutes of CBC.ca reporting the story, more than 400 comments had been posted, expressing outrage at the suit and calling for a boycott of Loblaws. 

Within hours, the lawsuit was withdrawn and an apology issued by Loblaws.  What on earth were they thinking in the first place?

The statement of claim is at http://www.cbc.ca/news/pdf/court-file.pdf

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s news release of the collision reconstruction report is at http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/nb/news/Jul2808_223430.html

Transport Canada’s special investigative report is at http://www.cbc.ca/nb/media/pdf/transport_canada_report.pdf

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Talladega Afternoons: The Ballad of Carl Edwards

July 2, 2009


Sources: http://www.nascar.com/2009/news/headlines/cup/04/26/post.race.fans.injured.talladega.cedwards/story_single.html#page2 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/motorsport/5231092/Nascar-investigate-Carl-Edwards-crash-after-seven-spectators-injured.html

A collision between two cars (driven by Brad Keselowski and Carl Edwards) at a NASCAR race led to Edwards’ car crashing into perimeter fencing on the final lap of the Sprint Cup Series Aaron’s 449 race at the Talladega Superspeedway (Alabama) on Sunday 26th April.

Seven spectators were struck by flying debris from the collision and suffered non-life-threatening minor injuries (including a suspected broken jaw and minor contusions / fractures). An additional spectator sitting in the same grandstand also suffered chest pains after she had witnessed the incident (possible primary psychiatric damage anyone?), while Edwards himself was able to jog from his car across the finishing line.

According to both a NASCAR official (Jim Hunter) and the medical director of the track (Dr. Bobby Lewis), it was not possible to say with any certainty whether the pieces of debris came from Edwards’ car or from the fence that absorbed the impact, what is important though is that the retaining fence stayed intact and kept the wreckage of the car on the race track. Without this fence, there is no doubt that the injuries could have been fatal.

See also critical reaction from Joe Menzer (from NASCAR.com) who suggests that further safety changes need to be made in order to make the track safe:  http://www.nascar.com/2009/news/opinion/04/26/one.menz.jmenzer.talladega.safety.cedwards/story_single.html#page2

You can see a Youtube clip of the crash here:

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NASCAR Mexico Race Driver Dies

June 22, 2009


Sources: http://uk.reuters.com/article/motorSportsNews/idUKN1415039120090615?feedType=RSS&feedName=motorSportsNews; http://sports.yahoo.com/nascar/blog/from_the_marbles/post/Remembering-Carlos-Pardo-NASCAR-Mexico-driver-k?urn=nascar,171140; http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1849293/nascar_mexico_series_driver_killed.html?cat=14; http://www.totalprosports.com/blog/index.php/2009/06/carlos-pardo-wins-nascar-race-dies-in-crash/

On Sunday June 14th, an accident in the Mexican NASCAR series (Autodromo Miguel E. Abed, State of Puebla) resulted in the death of Carlos Pardo.

The 33yr old driver was leading the race after 97 laps into a 100-lap race around the circuit, he was then bumped by the car behind (Jorge Goeters) as it attempted to accelerate past, and this spun Pardo’s car into the concrete retaining walls around the pit exit at 120mph. Essentially Pardo’s car disintegrated on impact (you can see clips of this on youtube, but out of respect, they have not been reproduced on this blog). Although Pardo was quickly extracted from the wreckage and medevaced to a nearby hospital, he died about 45 minutes after the impact. NASCAR Mexico later awarded him the win posthumously, as the race was stopped following the accident.

The Mexican version of the NASCAR League is operated by entertainment giant CIE (CIEB.MX) and privately-held firm Selca, and does not compete with American drivers. Given the mechanics of the accident and the amount of disintegration of the car though, some commentators have suggested that the safety measures seen in American and International motor racing were not in place. Others commentators have suggested that the fault lay with the race drivers themselves and particularly in how the nudge occurred. This story may therefore develop further…

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Brazilian Boxing match, sorry football championship game!

March 17, 2009


Source: http://uk.reuters.com/article/oddlyEnoughNews/idUKTRE51J5DM20090220?feedType=RSS&feedName=oddlyEnoughNews; http://sportsrubbish.blogspot.com/2009/02/video-soccer-brawl-between-brazilian.html; http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/4734178/Brazilian-goal-celebration-leads-to-a-pitch-brawl-and-seven-red-cards.html  


Seven players went sent off after a fight (try mass riot!) was sparked by Rogeiro Pereira’s goal celebration in the Rio Grande do Sul championship between Brasil and Ulbra. The game ultimately finished 5-2 to Ulbra (that’s goals rather than suspensions!), Four Brasil players (Danrlei, Luciano (reserve) Gleidson and Alex Martins) and three Ulbra players (Henry, Juninho (reserve goalkeeper) and Rogerio Pereira) were sent off following the brawl.

The fight broke out after Pereira (an Ulbra player) celebrated in front of the Brasil supporters.

According to Brazilian newspaper, O Globo, Brasil’s goalkeeper Danrlei said that Pereira had made a gesture in his goal celebration imitating Claudio Millar (one of the top players for Brasil who died along with 2 other players and coaches in a bus crash in January) which deliberately provoked the home fans.  Pereira was then attacked by the Brasil players near the corner flag, before footballers, team officials and even the Brasil President (Elder Lopes) joined in the fight.

Pereira denied any intent to offend.

You can see footage of the brawl on Youtube:


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