FanDuel - WFBC

July 14, 2010

Driver Killed in Crash at NHRA Northwest Nationals: Drag racing driver Mark Niver, 60, became the third person to die at an NHRA event this year when he crashed after crossing the finish line Sunday. Niver's parachutes failed to deploy and he crashed into netting at the end of the track. See the video.

posted by rcade to auto racing at 03:36 PM - 14 comments

Video link is no good.

posted by mr_crash_davis at 03:25 PM on July 14

Here's another video.

posted by BoKnows at 03:33 PM on July 14

Updated. Thanks.

posted by rcade at 03:41 PM on July 14

That's really odd -- it seems like Niver felt like hitting the netting would be the safest choice here. I kept expecting him to cut against the wall to reduce his speed. He also could have gone into the other lane, although I don't know if you'd realize the other car (assuming its chutes held) would have slowed.

It's a wonder it doesn't happen more often.

posted by wfrazerjr at 04:24 PM on July 14

It's a wonder it doesn't happen more often.

It's a wonder people still do this, if three drivers have died in half a year. 16 year old females sailing around the world solos don't seem to have the same probability of death.

posted by billsaysthis at 04:55 PM on July 14

I think one of the deaths was the fan killed by the flying tire.

posted by rcade at 06:22 PM on July 14

It's a wonder people still do this, if three drivers have died in half a year.

Where would Formula One be today if they'd had that attitude back when drivers were dying by the dozens?

posted by yerfatma at 08:34 PM on July 14

Yes, it does seem odd that Niver didn't try any evasive manuvers prior to hitting the net. I would think that even swerving side to side would reduce one's speed quite a bit.

So given that just hitting the net appears to be a main strategy, why not more sand before the net? Wouldn't cost much to extend that sand pit another couple hundred feet. And, deeper, looser packed sand as well. Those "run-away-truck" ramps they have on mountain highways seem to be thicker beds of sand, with the idea that the truck sinks down into the sand to stop. Niver's car seemed to glide over the sand too easily.

posted by dviking at 09:56 PM on July 14

Where would Formula One be today if they'd had that attitude back when drivers were dying by the dozens?

So all of those deaths--or 3 so far this year in NHRA--were a worthy sacrifice to have racing today? I'm not going to tell people to stop doing the things they love when they know the risks to themselves (even if I see those risks as too high), but, well, those risks are too high.

posted by bender at 07:55 AM on July 15

So all of those deaths--or 3 so far this year in NHRA--were a worthy sacrifice to have racing today?

No, no. All I'm saying is it's not a new situation in racing. I have no idea if the people who died were worthy of human sacrifice to Holidublpumpa, the Aztec god of speed.

posted by yerfatma at 08:00 AM on July 15

Video link is no good.

Sure ain't.

posted by mjkredliner at 09:54 AM on July 15

He really didn't seem to hit that hard. I've seen many sand pit rides that looked worse, and the driver walked away unscathed.

posted by mr_crash_davis at 03:49 PM on July 15

I have no idea if the people who died were worthy of human sacrifice to Holidublpumpa, the Aztec god of speed.

I doubt it. My understanding is that the worthy sacrifices came from the region of Ocheseis Montacahlo and bore the sign of the wasp.

posted by Mayor Curley at 07:16 PM on July 15

It will rain today.

posted by yerfatma at 08:26 AM on July 16

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