• Sep 21st 2006 at 12:58PM
  • 18
Top Gear's Richard "Hamster" Hammond is in serious but stable condition today in the Leeds General Infirmary, with his family and Top Gear's Jeremy Clarkson and James May in attendance.

The 36-year-old Hammond was driving a jet dragster, similar to the British land speed record-holding Vampire, in the neighborhood of 300 mph when he crashed on Wednesday. Observers said that Hammond had successfully completed several runs when a possible problem with the car's drag chutes caused the car to veer off the airport runway onto the grass verge and crash. The BBC and the government's Health and Safety Executive have already begun crash investigations.

It's likely that the accident will renew criticism of Top Gear and its high profile car stunts. In 1999 a group of Members of Parliament slammed the popular show for being "obsessed with acceleration and speed," while only last year a lobby group demanded that the show be shut down, saying it was "glamorizing speed and failing to make the connection with danger on the roads."

Even by Top Gear's liberal standards, 300 mph in a jet car seems an extreme assignment for any journalist. Everyone here at Autoblog wishes Hammond a full and speedy recovery.

[Source: BBC]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 9 Years Ago
      300 mph you say. If Captain Slow had been driving, that speed may have been a relatively safe 290 mph.

      Get well soon you short little bugger. Your daytime audience will miss you too.
      • 9 Years Ago
      News at BBC reported he had "significant brain injury". Thats really sad...


      Hope he survives at least, even if he can't be the same or leaves the show.
      • 9 Years Ago
      get well soon richard were all pulling for you
      • 9 Years Ago
      I hope he has a speedy recovery.
      • 8 Years Ago
      # 6 was great and perfect. I miss the show here in the States when it used to be on Discovery. Wish it would come back or at least end up on DVD or the US!

      Sorry to here about The Hamster. Get well soon! I want to see you behind the wheel of that new Charger, even though I agree with Clarkson about what rubbish American cars are.

      • 9 Years Ago
      The higher the speed, the bigger the likelihood of s**t to happen.

      Hope he gets well soon.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Get well soon hamster! =(
      • 9 Years Ago
      This sort of thing is exactly what makes Top Gear the only show on TV worth watching.
      It helps that the hosts do not kiss the asses of the auto companies - something that would be a problem if this show were to be produced in the US - not to mention how much of the more entertaining aspects of the show would be outright killed if it were produced in the US.
      • 9 Years Ago
      He's my favorite Top Gear (and Brainiacs) host... Hope he does indeed recover and is brave enough to continue with the show. Good luck!

      • 9 Years Ago
      get well soon
      • 9 Years Ago
      This happened only 1 mile from my house. I live very near to this test track. The F1 cars are always there.

      I hope he has a speedy recovery. Top Gear would not be the same without him.
      • 9 Years Ago
      That was some very saddening news, particularly the brain damage part...I've been too occupied with work lately to pay attention to the news, so it was quite a shock to hear about this. I definitely hope he recovers. The ironic thing for me is that I was usually far more concerned about him being injured during his stunts on Braniac rather than Top Gear.
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