• Oct 23, 2006

Defying all the odds, we're glad to report that Top Gear host Richard Hammond has been released from the hospital and is recovering with his family at an undisclosed private location. Despite the very serious nature of his crash and the potential brain damage incurred, Richard's doctors all expect him to make a 100% full and complete recovery.

For those joining the saga a little late, "the Hamster", as he's affectionately known, was filming a segment for the popular BBC television program Top Gear, driving a record-setting jet-powered dragster when it blew out a tire at 288 mph, sending the car, with Richard in it, flipping endlessly through a field. Hammond was rescued from the overturned jet-car with his head plowed into the dirt, barely responsive. He was airlifted to an emergency hospital in Leeds before being moved out of intensive care to another hospital in Bristol.

Now speeding down the fast lane to recovery, Richard has given personal accounts to the Mirror, a British newspaper for which he writes a regular column. In four separate articles, Richard describes the crash, his hospitalization, the effects on his family and the things that have helped him recover. Click the Read link to see what the Hamster has to say about his ordeal and recovery.

[Source: The Mirror]

Contradicting earlier reports, Richard was not actually attempting to break the land speed record, just to drive the car. His job, as he describes it, was to successfully pilot the dragster with the afterburners lit and describe the experience to the public. While two separate safety investigations are underway, Hammond insists every precaution was taken and that he had been fully confident that the session would pass without incident. His safety helmet was taken back to the factory after what essentially constituted the highest-speed crash test ever undertaken on the equipment, though Richard says he wants it back as a memento for what he calls "the day I died"...or quite nearly.

Hammond describes the road to recovery as having been especially brutal at times. He initially lost nearly all his memory: "Basically", Hammond recalls, "I was mad as a bag of snakes." He lost all short-term memory, had an infuriatingly difficult time focusing on any thoughts whatsoever, and broke down in tears at several points. Richard's doctors initially feared he would be paralyzed down half his body and lose eyesight out of one eye; they thought they'd have to drill a hole in his skull to drain blood in case of massive hemorrhaging and bleeding; and they feared he'd never fully recover from the brain damage, but in the end, miraculously, Richard required no surgery whatsoever and is, in typical fashion, making record time in confounding everyone's expectations.

Richard partially attributes his recovery to obsessively playing with Legos and memory-card games. He couldn't remember his name, didn't know what he'd ordered for lunch and could hardly recall why he was there in the first place, but he knew how fast a Pagani Zonda could go. Sounds like the Richard we know and love.

Read more: (The Mirror)

Related posts: (Autoblog)



I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 7 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      "There are people who fall off their trikes at the age of four who've got better injuries than me. I've been through hell and I've got nothing to show for it except a chipped tooth! I'm gutted."

      To which we all know he whitens :)
      • 8 Years Ago
      You go Richard!
      • 4 Years Ago
      You are completely amazing, Richard Hammond. I can't wait for the new season. Congratulations on your full recovery :)
      • 8 Years Ago
      Great news! Can't wait to see you back on Top Gear, good buddy!

      And I find it both awesome and hilarious how he couldn't remember just about anything, but recalling the top speed of the Zonda wasn't a problem. A true Petrosexual.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Way to go Hamster!
      • 8 Years Ago
      Awesome!! Saludos Richard!

      Now, wheres the new season of Top Gear? hehehe
      • 8 Years Ago
      Way to go Richard. Heres to the rest of your recovery, may it be a speedy one. So glad you are back on your feet again.You are looking a million dollars. See you soon on Top Gear.