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Maria de Villota loses right eye after Marussia horror crash


By Berthold Bouman

Marussia test driver Maria de Villota underwent extensive surgery at the Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, the procedure started yesterday afternoon and lasted until this morning. De Villota sustained life-threatening facial and head injuries when she crashed into the back of a support vehicle during a test at Duxford Airfield yesterday morning.

Maria de Villota, Marussia

Sadly surgeons were not able to save her right eye. According to a statement issued by the Marussia Formula One Team, de Villota remains in a critical but stable condition.

Team Principal John Booth stated, “Maria emerged from theatre at Addenbrooke’s Hospital this morning after a lengthy operation to address the serious head and facial injuries she received in the accident at Duxford Airfield yesterday.”

“We are grateful for the medical attention that Maria has been receiving and her family would like to thank the Neurological and Plastics surgical teams. However it is with great sadness that I must report that, due to the injuries she sustained, Maria has lost her right eye.”

“We ask for everyone’s patience and understanding with regard to updates on Maria’s condition. We will provide further information when it is appropriate to do so and with consideration for her family.”

De Villota’s family is at the Addenbrooke’s Hospital to support the 32-year old daughter of ex-Formula One driver Emilio de Villota. Booth also thanked the emergency services who were quickly at the accident scene to look after the injured driver before she was transported to hospital.

“In the meantime, we would all like to take this opportunity to praise the emergency services at Duxford Airfield, who were on stand-by yesterday, as is usual procedure for a Formula One test,” Booth said.

“With regard to the accident, we have embarked on a very comprehensive analysis of what happened and this work continues for the moment. Finally, we have been overwhelmed by messages of support for Maria, her family and the Team and we would like to express our sincere gratitude for those.”

It is still a mystery what exactly went wrong when de Villota returned from her first run on the airstrip, braked and slowed down to be pushed into the make-shift pit area. According to eyewitnesses the car suddenly accelerated straight into the Circuit2Circuit Limited owned truck that had transported the Marussia MR-01 Formula One car to the airfield.

According to the BBC, Inspectors from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) visited the test track today.

Duxford Airfield, click to open the full-size image in a new window

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