This is a somber post. No photos. No videos. Just a single thought: Why did it happen?
For anyone who hasn't yet heard, there was a tragedy in the Mediterranean coastal area near Monte Carlo/Monaco yesterday. A vehicle in a motorsports event (Rallye Monte Carlo 2017) lost control, ran wide of its intended trajectory, and [Author's edit: potentially] caused the untimely death of a photographer, who had set up a small camera to capture the passes of the cars. [It is uncertain about whether the photographer was killed by the car itself, or possibly cardiac arrest brought on by a variety of factors, which likely included the increase in heart rate and blood pressure resulting from the incident.]
That's all of the information we really have. There is nothing vital to add to that. We don't know if the deceased was accredited press or just an enthusiast out to get the best footage of the rally. We don't know what he/she would have done with the footage. And, while there is a video that you can find, that shows the accident, and while we know which car it was who caused this, Melons' Better Driving is choosing to omit these details and multimedia, out of respect for the deceased, and the driver.
As racing drivers, the worst thing that can happen to us is a fatal crash involving the death of a spectator or volunteer. The guilt of knowing that a driver error or a parts malfunction or something caused your vehicle to cause the death of someone else is overwhelming. It ends careers. It destroys lives. We will not be involved in any shaming nor any finger pointing.
With that said, though, there is a report that several fellow spectators begged the photographer to find a safer place to stand. The warnings were not heeded, and the begging was in vain.
When you attend a rally, it is understood that you do it at your own risk. Signs at the rally stages will advise you of such. No matter the driver's talent, things can happen. Control arms can break. Tie rods can snap. Brakes can fail.
Drew Geier is a Canadian petrolhead whose main mission is to make motoring accessible, enjoyable, and affordable well into the future, by improving the art, hobby and lifestyle of motoring. He builds cars, and he writes about other builds. He's built a Subaru WRX and is building a Honda Civic EK.