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“Tragedy strikes Canadian Grand Prix as marshal dies”

June 10, 2013

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Earlier this evening, I was made aware of several publications and websites that felt the need and desire to publish shots of the aftermath of the tragic accident.
Such crass folly, the publishers should be ashamed of themselves. Completely unnecessary tripe from those who care more about their statistics and web hits than the people involved in this tragic incident.
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A track marshal, Mark Robinson, has died following injuries sustained during an incident toward the end of yesterday’s Canadian Grand Prix.

Robinson was busy helping with the removal of Esteban Gutierrez’ stricken Sauber following the conclusion of the race, when, according to an FIA statement, “The recovery vehicle had lifted the car to return it to the pits and while doing this the worker dropped his radio and attempted to pick it up. As he did this, he stumbled and was hit and run over by the recovery vehicle.”

A member of the Notre Dame Automobile Club, Robinson was taken to Sacre-Coeur hospital in Montreal; where his injuries were treated by traumatology department of Dr Ronald Denis, Deputy Chief Medical Officer and Dr Jacques Bouchard, Chief Medical Officer of the Grand Prix; however he would not survive.
His is the first death of track worker at a Formula One Grand Prix since Graham Beveridge was killed following an accident at the 2001 Australian Grand Prix.

This evening FIA President, Jean Todt, made the following statement: “I would like to share my profound sadness, and that of the whole FIA community, following the tragic death of Mark Robinson, who was working as a volunteer marshal at the Canadian Grand Prix.
“My thoughts, and those of the FIA members, are with Mark’s family and friends and we all wish to extend our sincerest condolences, as well as our support, in these most tragic of circumstances. This tragedy has affected us deeply, and the whole of motor sport is profoundly touched by it.”
He added: “In volunteering to be a marshal, Mark had made the choice to give his time, his knowledge and passion in the service of motor sport. All over the world, it is men and women like Mark who make possible the organisation of motor sport events. Without these thousands of volunteers who give their all selflessly, motor sport would simply not get off the starting line. I and the FIA want to share with each and every one of the pain resulting from Mark’s death, a hurt that unites us all today.”

This is an all too tragic reminder about just how dangerous a motorsport facility can be, whether trackside or otherwise. Without the assistance of marshals, motorsport cannot exist and these wonderful people rightly deserve our praise and thanks for each meeting they attend.

My deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Mark Robinson. My thoughts also to the Notre Dame Automobile Club, its members and Robinson’s trackside colleagues.

Related content: “Those Who Let Us Race”

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