mulberry bags at john lewis Calgarian Matt Campbell and team recovering in hospital after surviving dramatic crash at legendary Dakar Rally
He certainly not the first Calgary driver to misjudge road conditions or lose control on treacherous terrain while travelling way too fast.
But mid summer Bolivia is a far cry from Deerfoot Trail in winter and as Matt Campbell recovers in a South American hospital, his 174 km/h end to end rollover in a remote desert zone may well be the most dramatic car crash ever survived by a Calgarian, anywhere.
only by the grace of God they still alive, said Judi Palmai, Campbell executive assistant back in Calgary, where the 64 year old is the CEO of Rocky Mountain Equipment.
But Campbell is also one of the few Canadians to ever race in the legendary Dakar Rally, ranked as the toughest off road contest in motorsports and after finishing 52nd as a rookie last year, the Calgarian and his El Martillo Racing team were back for a second fight with the 9,000 km course.
That battle ended on Saturday, seven days into the 2015 Dakar.
That the three man car team all survived the disaster to limp back home seems almost miraculous, given a brutal crash which climaxed with their high tech race car exploding into a ball of orange flame.
many of our followers must know already, El Martillo Racing is sadly out of the 2015 Dakar Rally after an impressive end for end roll over that caused irreparable damages to the race car, reads the official team release.
The crash took place at a water crossing, where Campbell and co driver Luis Ramirez, along with navigator Nico Ambriz, were expecting a relatively shallow stream, based on the relatively tame 2 sign along the course.
That explains why Campbell, as head driver, didn slow much for the water, as the tricked out race machine tore along the off road track at more than 100 miles per hour.
But instead of skimming over a mild stream,
as expected, the nose of the car plunged straight into 1.6 metre deep water, the momentum catapulting the vehicle high into the air and into a series of end to end flips, each impact smashing pieces off the machine, before it finally exploded in flames.
car was built to withstand that, and there so much safety equipment aboard, said James Maxim, a friend of Campbell and publicist for the team.
when I watched that video, my heart came into my throat. champion Baja desert racer, Campbell keeps himself in top physical condition, and the highly skilled driver was running a tight race in 36th spot when disaster struck.
The video in question was captured by one of the many Bolivian spectators watching as the Dakar Rally roared by, and only minutes before Campbell and co. wrecked their car, a Mercedes powered SUV did almost the same, its crew also escaping serious injury.
Already a minor hit on YouTube, the spectator video shows the Calgarian car doing the kind of dramatic air acrobatics Hollywood usually needs a computer to generate, while the Spanish speaking camera man curses and shouts in amazement.
race car was moving at a speed of 174 km/h when suddenly they found the water cut 5 feet deep. There was not much to do but hang on and resist the crash. The affectations are quite notable, the car was completely destroyed, reads the El Martillo team press release.
Fortunately, in despite of the dramatically accident Matt, Nico and Fito did not suffer too many damages other than bruises to the hide and pride. Matt and Fito were moved immediately to medical centers to receive the proper attention no matter there was no visible wounds. is now in a Chilean hospital,
undergoing MRI tests to check for internal damage but it appears he suffered no life threatening injuries in the wreck.