Richard Hammond returns to car that ‘very nearly’ killed him on Top Gear in 2006 accident

Presenter was in a coma for two weeks after jet-powered car travelling at 319 mph crashed

Isobel Lewis
Tuesday 11 January 2022 12:25 GMT
Richard Hammond gets back into car that almost killed him on Top Gear

Richard Hammond has got back behind the wheel of the car that nearly killed him in 2006.

The TV presenter sustained a serious injury while filming Top Gear at a former airbase near York. At the time, Hammond was driving a jet-powered dragster called Vampire and travelling at a speed of 319 miles per hour.

After the front-right tyre failed, the car flipped over, damaging Hammond’s eye and requiring him to be cut out with hydraulic shears. He was taken to hospital, where he was in a coma for two weeks and later suffered from post-traumatic amnesia and a five-second memory.

On Monday (10 January), a new video was shared on the DriveTribe YouTube channel, which is owned by Hammond, Jeremy Clarkson and James May.

Teasing the channel’s content for 2022, Hammond said that he would be “doing what I promised myself I would never do, and get back into the Vampire dragster that so very, very nearly killed me”.

He continued: “I will be doing what I swore – oh, do you know what, I’m just gonna do it now.”

Hammond was then shown circling the car while audio from news reports about his accident played.

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

Hammond explained: “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.”

Hammond then told his crew member Mike that he could do the challenge instead, before adding: “Happy 2022.”

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