BBC Top Gear: Freddie Flintoff becomes latest star injured in accident after Richard Hammond’s near-death crash in 2006

Richard Hammond nearly lost his life filming for Top Gear in 2006

Top Gear has a history of crashes and incidents involving its presenters, with Freddie Flintoff the latest to be involved in an accident.

The former England cricket captain, 45, from Preston, was taken to hospital on Tuesday (13 December) following his involvement in a high-speed crash while filming for the latest series of the popular car enthusiast show.

BBC confirmed that he was taken to hospital via air ambulance after the incident at Dunsfold Park Aerodrome in Surrey, but according to sources, his injuries are “not life-threatening”.

Following the news of Freddie’s crash, we look at a previous accident on Top Gear involving former presenter Richard Hammond.

Former Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)Former Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
Former Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

What happened to Richard Hammond in 2006?

Richard Hammond nearly lost his life in a crash filming for the show on 20 September 2006 at York’s Elvington airfield.

The 52-year-old, from Solihull, was driving a Vampire jet car - capable of travelling at speeds of up to 370 mph - when one of the tyres blew, causing it to spin out of control and crash at 320 mph.

The presenter was cut free from the car using hydraulic shears before being airlifted to the nearest hospital.

He was treated for a frontal lobe brain injury that saw him placed in a coma for a period of time.

It was speculated at the time that if he was taller he would have been decapitated.

Richard Hammond is transferred from Leeds General Infirmary by the Yorkshire Air Ambulance after the crash in 2006. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)Richard Hammond is transferred from Leeds General Infirmary by the Yorkshire Air Ambulance after the crash in 2006. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
Richard Hammond is transferred from Leeds General Infirmary by the Yorkshire Air Ambulance after the crash in 2006. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Hammond opened up about the terrifying ordeal in a YouTube video for the What Next channel.

In the video, he spoke about how he regained consciousness after doctors told his wife, Mindy, that he might not make it.

He said: “She’d been called into intensive care and told: ‘Mrs Hammond, I’m really sorry, things aren’t looking good’.

“Apparently, she roared and screamed and swore at me ‘don’t you dare die’, and that’s when I woke.”

Richard Hammond and wife Mindy Hammond. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)Richard Hammond and wife Mindy Hammond. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)
Richard Hammond and wife Mindy Hammond. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)

Following his recovery, he returned to the show alongside Jeremy Clarkson and James May, and they eventually departed and joined The Grand Tour on Amazon Prime, which they present together.

Earlier this year, Hammond got back behind the wheel of the car that nearly killed him in a video for the DriveTribe YouTube channel, owned by himself, Jeremy Clarkson and James May.

“Hello again,” he said as he greeted the vehicle. “You look in better shape than last time I saw you, anyway.”

He added: “What’s odd is, I remember the last time I got in this thing, but I don’t remember getting out, so technically I’m still in it.”