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Richard Hammond wishes Freddie Flintoff the ‘very best’ after near-fatal Top Gear crash but admits ‘taking risks is excusable’ as he reflects on his own accident


Richard Hammond wished Freddie Flintoff the ‘very best’ after his near-fatal Top Gear crash in a new interview on Wednesday. 

Admitting ‘accidents do happen’ the TV presenter, 54, reflected on his own crash, which left him in a coma for two weeks in 2006 after the car he was driving at 320mph spun out of control and flipped upside down. 

Former cricketer Freddie, 46, was ‘lucky to be alive’ after his is open-topped three-wheel 130mph Morgan Super 3 car, which had no air bags, flipped over in December 2022, leaving him with severe facial injuries and several broken ribs.

Speaking to Fi Glover and Jane Garvey on Times Radio this week, Richard said taking risks in cars on screen is ‘excusable’ and ‘needs to happen’ as he defended the circumstances surrounding the accidents. 

He began: ‘I feel for the guy and it sounds like a really traumatic accident and a horrible experience. I only ever wish him all the best from it.’

Richard Hammond, 54, wished Freddie Flintoff the 'very best' after his near-fatal Top Gear crash in a new interview on Wednesday

Richard Hammond, 54, wished Freddie Flintoff the ‘very best’ after his near-fatal Top Gear crash in a new interview on Wednesday

Former cricketer Freddie, 46, was 'lucky to be alive' after his car, which had no air bags, flipped over in December 2022, leaving him with severe facial injuries and several broken ribs (pictured in September 2023)

Former cricketer Freddie, 46, was ‘lucky to be alive’ after his car, which had no air bags, flipped over in December 2022, leaving him with severe facial injuries and several broken ribs (pictured in September 2023)

Richard added: ‘I had a couple of bad ones, but accidents do happen, you know, we were they went through our systems and protocols very closely and we weren’t found wanting because the fact of the matter is, sometimes things do go wrong.’ 

Speaking about the risks, he continued: ‘It is fundamental to what we do. I don’t think [cars] appeal will ever diminish and therefore taking a well mitigated, a well controlled risk, I think, is excusable and in the knowledge that sometimes it’s going to go wrong.

‘In terms of corporate responsibility and responsibility on the part of those running the show and asking us to do these things is that everything is in place to to mitigate the effects should things go wrong. 

‘I mean for me a tyre deal delaminated and blew it 320 miles an hour. Nobody can stop that. I mean, you could trace that back to a bug that got in the rubber when they tapped the rubber tree, or, I don’t know, something caused the tire to delaminate.

‘That was an accident. But everything that followed from there was great. They have the right contacts in place. They did things in the right order. 

‘They got an air ambulance there. Everything was done properly. And that’s all you can ultimately do, isn’t it?’ 

In 2006, Richard was driving a Vampire jet car at 320mph when one of the tyres blew, causing it to spin out of control and crash, flipping upside down and leaving him in a coma.

The presenter was in a coma for two weeks and the incident left him with serious head injuries.

Admitting 'accidents do happen' the presenter, 54, reflected on his own crash, which left him in a coma for two weeks in 2006 after the car he was driving at 320mph spun out of control

Admitting ‘accidents do happen’ the presenter, 54, reflected on his own crash, which left him in a coma for two weeks in 2006 after the car he was driving at 320mph spun out of control

Speaking on Times Radio this week, Richard said taking risks in cars on screen is 'excusable' and 'needs to happen' as he defended the circumstances surrounding the accidents (Richard's 2006 crash scene pictured)

Speaking on Times Radio this week, Richard said taking risks in cars on screen is ‘excusable’ and ‘needs to happen’ as he defended the circumstances surrounding the accidents (Richard’s 2006 crash scene pictured)

He added: 'I had a couple of bad ones, but accidents do happen, you know, the fact of the matter is, sometimes things do go wrong'

He added: ‘I had a couple of bad ones, but accidents do happen, you know, the fact of the matter is, sometimes things do go wrong’

Richard recovered and returned to the show in early 2007 but revealed in February this year that he fears he has memory loss as a result.

He continued: ‘I went back to work probably a bit too soon because, recovering from brain injury, it’s not a precise thing, is not like watching a bone knit or a scar heal because you can’t see it. 

‘And, you know, the functionality of your own brain. Well, you’ve got to assess that with is the brain.

‘My memory’s not what it was. My working memory, processing memories. Still great. I can read a page, a script or information and deliver it immediately. But my midterm on occasionally lose a week or it isn’t written down, but that’s probably just a function of being 54 and working too hard. It might not be anything to do with brain injury.’

In 2017, Hammond was involved in a second crash and was airlifted to hospital in Switzerland while filming Amazon’s The Grand Tour.

The accident took place in the town of St Gallen in north-east Switzerland. Richard had to be pulled from the wreckage of a Rimac supercar worth £2m that later burst into flames.

In February 2019, Flintoff was involved in a minor incident when he crashed into a market stall in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire.

In September of the same year, he crashed again while driving a three-wheel vehicle at a reported speed of 124mph during filming for Top Gear at Elvington Airfield in Yorkshire, but walked away from the incident unharmed.

In 2017, Hammond was involved in a second crash and was airlifted to hospital in Switzerland while filming Amazon's The Grand Tour (pictured)

In 2017, Hammond was involved in a second crash and was airlifted to hospital in Switzerland while filming Amazon’s The Grand Tour (pictured)

The next year, McGuinness crashed after skidding on oil and the moment was shown on the show.

In December 2022, Flintoff was taken to hospital after he was hurt while filming for Top Gear at its test track at Dunsfold Aerodrome.

He appeared with facial injuries in public for the first time in September, and in October the BBC reached a financial settlement with Flintoff. 

Following the crash, the BBC announced it would pause Top Gear and in November 2023 it was rested for the ‘foreseeable future.’ 



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