On this day - June 11th

Home » Latest News » On this day - June 11th
le mans

Disaster at Le Mans

The 1955 Le Mans disaster occurred during the 24 Hours of Le Mans motor race at Circuit de la Sarthe in Le Mans, France, on 11 June 1955, when a major crash caused large fragments of debris to fly into the crowd. Eighty-three spectators and French driver Pierre Bouillin, who raced under the name Pierre Levegh, were killed, and nearly 180 more sustained injuries in the most catastrophic accident in motorsport history, which led Mercedes-Benz to retire from motor racing until 1989.

The crash was initiated when Jaguar driver Mike Hawthorn cut in front of Austin-Healey driver Lance Macklin in an effort to reach his pit stop, forcing Macklin to swerve into the path of Levegh to avoid him. Levegh, who was passing on the left in his much faster Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR, rear ended Macklin at high speed, overriding the slower car and launching his light magnesium-frame Mercedes through the air. Levegh struck a protective dirt berm at 125 mph, disintegrating and igniting his car, throwing him onto the track and killing him instantly, and sending large pieces of flaming debris including the engine block and hood cartwheeling over the berm and into the packed grandstand.

There was much debate over the apportioning of blame. The official inquiry held none of the drivers specifically responsible, and criticised the layout of the 30-year-old track, which had not been designed for cars of this speed.

popular recent storiesAlso in the news

New Year's fireworks
Mon 13 Aug 6:05am  |  hits: 1,083

Way back early in the year Matt Bonnell and myself announced a move to get the Annual Fireworks at Midnight of the 31st December back. The response from many sponsors was superb and I attach herewith the list as of today of all who have given into the fund.My action so far is to have contracted Blitz Fireworks of Crewe to present a display that is far better than any we have had before BUT...

Graham Tresidder, Funeral Directors in Audlem
Thu 16 Aug 6:08am  |  hits: 920

Ruth Mary Kemble passed away peacefully at Leighton Hospital on Tuesday 14th August 2018, aged 72., . Ruth, from Audlem, was the beloved wife of John and much loved mum of Matthew. The Funeral service will be at St James the Great Church, Audlem on Monday 3rd September 2018 at 11.30am followed by burial in Audlem cemetery. Donations if desired will be given to The Guide Dogs for the Blind...

Buerton_Aerial_2
Thu 16 Aug 6:09am  |  hits: 854

At their latest Parish Council meeting, Buerton Councillors were delighted to learn that an anonymous donor has offered to provide a new piece of equipment for the older children in Buerton.This is expected to be located on the playing field in Buerton.What we need to do now is to find out what our youngsters would like (apparently there have already been a couple of suggestions for a zip...