As TJ13 reported recently, the Health and Safety Report into Maria de Villota’s crash in 2012 was in part due the fact her Marussia car was ‘pushed’ into the parked lorry which inflicted her injuries that proved ultimately fatal.
Maria’s family have now responded and claim the HSE document clearly reveals there were “a number of irregularities on the day of the accident”.
“The report cites factors such as the questionable position of the lorry and its tail-lift ramp, the lack of logistical and technical information, as well as the lack of some basic safety precautions and driver briefing.”
“The report confirms that Marussia’s own risk assessment process considered neither the risks posed by the layout of the test facility (including position of the lorry and the tail-lift) nor the risks to Maria from the design of the car.
“The family’s lawyers are studying the report in order to identify the next steps that the family may wish to take, including court proceedings.”
This will be of concern to the current Marussia Manor F1 team who emerged from the ashes of the original organisation responsible for the test back in 2012.
Bernie Ecclestone has made it clear he would be happy were Manor to ‘go to the wall’ and the only reason the team qualifies for the 2014 Marussia prize money is because the company holding the F1 racing license was not dissolved in bankruptcy proceedings.
The debts and creditors from before 2015 were ‘satisfied’ by the Administrator’s proposals, which allowed the legal entity that was Marussia Racing to continue trading.
Thus, any liability from the 2012 crash could be laid at the door of the current Manor F1 team – and they would be responsible for any compensation then awarded.
When Stephen Fiztpatrick and Justin King agreed to finance the reborn Manor F1 team, the stated position of the HSE was that no prosecution was to be actioned by them relating to the de Vilotta crash. The matter had been closed.
However, the report had been previously marked confidential by the HSE until the BBC insisted it be released under the UK’s “Freedom of Information Act”.
Maria’s family concluded by stating, “We will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that Maria and her legacy continue.”