Photographer in coma after being hit by a rally car

2011-05-16 07:35

A freelance photographer was in a coma in hospital after being hit by a racing car while photographing the HMC Hencom Autobody rally at the weekend, Beeld reported today.

Deon van der Merwe (40) was seriously injured during the sixth phase of the event, which runs over 180 kilometres between eMalahleni (Witbank) in Mpumalanga and Bronkhorstspruit in Gauteng.

“It is very unfortunate that it happened,” Motorsport SA head Francois Pretorius told Beeld. “Unfortunately he and other photographers were standing at a dangerous place and they were warned several times not to stand there.”

Van der Merwe suffered injuries to the head, face and heart, lungs and kidneys when former national racing champion Hergen Fekken’s car hit him.

Van der Merwe’s wife, Annalene, said: “Deon was standing with two other photographers on a bend, taking pictures, when one of the racing cars veered out of control ... there just wasn’t enough time to jump out of the way and the car ran over Deon.”

He was airlifted to Pretoria East hospital where he was put on a heart-lung machine.

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