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UPDATE: Canadian Grand Prix marshal dies after crane accident

Jun 9, 2013, 7:35 PM EDT

Canadian F1 GP Auto Racing AP

A 38-year-old Canadian Grand Prix track worker has been pronounced dead after being run over by a crane in an incident at the end of Sunday’s race.

According to the Montreal Gazette, the worker – who has yet to be identified – was part of a crew tending to the stricken Sauber of Esteban Gutierrez near the Turn 1-2 complex of Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. As a crane was carrying Gutierrez’s machine, the worker stumbled while trying to pick up a radio that had gone to the ground and was then accidentally run over by the crane.

He was stabilized at the track and was then transported via helicopter to Sacre Coeur Hospital in Montreal, where he has succumbed to his injuries before planned surgery by doctors there.

“Unfortunately, the doctors in the trauma room noticed immediately that he had died,” Sacre Couer spokesperson Josée Michelle-Simard told the Gazette.

The worker is the third track marshal to have been killed since the 2000 season.

That year at the Italian Grand Prix, 33-year-old Paolo Ghislimberti was killed when he was hit by a wheel that had been sent over the barriers following a first-lap crash.

Then in 2001, Graham Beveridge died at the Australian Grand Prix after being struck by a wheel that went through a gap in the safety fence following a crash involving Jacques Villeneuve and Ralf Schumacher.

The FIA has issued a statement on today’s tragedy, in which themselves, the Canadian Grand Prix and the Automobile Club de L’Ile Notre-Dame sent their “deepest condolences” to the worker’s family.

Red Bull Racing, which won today’s race in Montreal with Sebastian Vettel, also did the same on Twitter. In addition, Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso, who finished second behind Vettel, has tweeted that the worker’s death was “terrible news.”

“Today there is nothing to celebrate. Terrible news arrive with the death of a marshal this race. Very sad. R.I.P.,” he said.

  1. wallio - Jun 9, 2013 at 7:52 PM

    Good God! R.I.P

  2. oscarclove - Jun 9, 2013 at 9:05 PM

    Reblogged this on oscarloveviews.

    • sabatimus - Jun 9, 2013 at 9:34 PM

      Reblog it up your ass. Show some respect.

      • purplesectornet - Jun 9, 2013 at 9:49 PM

        I don’t understand what he did wrong? He is just passing the story on to more people?

      • chicagobtech - Jun 10, 2013 at 12:01 AM

        My guess (I refuse to click on his links) is he has advertising revenue coming in on his blog, he’s trying to up his page views. I’ve never seen him contribute anything aside from reblogs.

  3. purplesectornet - Jun 9, 2013 at 9:18 PM

    Ugh. That’s horrible!

  4. cjmar2k - Jun 10, 2013 at 7:51 AM

    “Unfortunately, the doctors in the trauma room noticed immediately that he had died,” Ya think? Cheez, who writes this crap?

    • onlysane1intheroom - Jun 10, 2013 at 10:09 AM

      While I normally would agree with you, that statement is a quote. My reaction is “they actually said those words!” Yikes!!

      • nderdog - Jun 10, 2013 at 4:56 PM

        My guess is that this is a case of something being lost in translation. Given the name of the hospital (Sacre Couer) and the name of the person who was quoted (Josée Michelle-Simard) alongside the location (Montreal, where over 65% of the population considers French their native tongue) it’s reasonable to assume that the original statement was either made in French or mentally translated from French to English and an error was made.

  5. geodude11 - Jun 10, 2013 at 10:45 AM

    That is a fork lift, not a crane. Support workers are taught to walk to the side of the path of movement so the operator can see them at all times. Two mistakes from experienced workers, it is a sad day for all employees at the facility.

    • apexassassin - Jun 10, 2013 at 5:19 PM

      “Two mistakes from experienced workers, it is a sad day for all employees at the facility.” I hope you mean the appointed Safety Watch and the poor marshall who lost his life for a radio.

      As much as feel terrible for the deceased family and friends, not to mention the countless numbers of fans that were witness to it, it needs to be said that the operator didn’t make a mistake and I’m sure feels beyond terrible right now. Like you said, it’s the duty of ground personal to be in view of the operator at all times.

      I’m sure the marshall was trained, but he certainly wasn’t experienced working with heavy equipment as he was on the boom side of the crane which obstructs the operators view, same as it does on an excavator and other equipment.

      What no one has mentioned is that there (jmho) should have been a third person, a Saftey Watch, if there wasn’t already, in direct contact with the operator with visual contact of all parties and direct communication as well. I’m not saying there was negligence was involved, but if this were my event I’d want an extra set of eyes for anyone near heavy equipment that doesn’t do it for an occupation.

      I hate to be in poor taste, but again, that marshall exercised at least two poor decisions that led to the loss of his life, in what looked to me to be a 100% preventable incident.
      1. He never should have been on that side of the machine, that close to the machine, and should have been where the operator can see him at all times.
      2. He never should have risked his life for a radio.

      Such a tragedy, I trully feel awful and wish I hadn’t seen it. RIP.

      • billbadguy - Jun 11, 2013 at 4:23 AM

        How about driver doesn’t see workers, driver stops until he does?

  6. apexassassin - Jun 11, 2013 at 4:04 PM

    @ bullbadguy: that’s not the operators job. He had other things to focus on, like the people he can see and the dangling f1 car, not to mention all the controls. As I stated above, it’s the ground workers responsibility to stay in view or be out of the way. Being that close to the machine without notifying the operator is never the acceptable.

    Still a sad tragedy and I give my full condolences to the people affected by his loss.

    • billbadguy - Jun 12, 2013 at 5:43 PM

      Sorry but it’s hard to stay in view when you trip and fall.

  7. g2effect - Jun 12, 2013 at 5:57 PM

    I was at the race in Grandstand 12 at Turn 2 and to me was a sad and potentially avoidable accident as the lift/crane crew carried Gutierrez’ damaged car back to the pits after the finish of the race. The Montreral F1 GP is one of the few on the calendar that allows fans to invade the track at the end of the race and gather in front of the podium for the driver presentations. At the end of the race the lift/crane crew were attempting to get the car back to the pits before being overtaken by the fans. I do not know who is responsible for timing the opening of the track fence but it was unfortunate to say the least. It was evident that the lift/crane crew sped up to avoid being overrun by the fans running toward them and the podium, from the track entrance at Turn 2nd. The two non-driver operators were effectively running faster in front of the lift/crane to keep the car from swinging violently. If it had been travelling at a more conservative walking speed, the operator might not have dropped his radio and may not have been run over in the attempt to retrieve it. Very sad and cannot stop thinking about it…..

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