Cameraman goes flying as drag racer crashes at 200km/h
By Elizabeth Binning
A cameraman was hurled in the air after a drag car driver lost control yesterday and crashed at 200km/h at Meremere Dragway in north Waikato.
The impact shunted the track barrier into a media stand, sending cameraman Robert Miller flying.
He was treated at the track for minor injuries but the stand was destroyed.
Last night Mr Miller was at home nursing his injuries, a few cuts and scratches, including a gash that cut through to the bone on his left leg.
"I was on the platform filming the two cars coming down, following the car that was winning and facing the far end of the track, and then I heard a little bit of a tyre squeal and then a big bang.
"Next thing I'm looking at the sky and [doing] what felt like a big, lazy back-flip, and then I crashed into the ground."
He added: "I feel very lucky. I'm used to catching the accident happening, not being part of it.
The driver, Clark Fiddes, had to be cut from his mangled vehicle after ploughing into the steel rail.
The crash happened as the Pukekohe driver crossed the finish line and his vehicle veered right.
Spectators, including Fiddes' parents and girlfriend, watched as the high-performance car hit the railing.
Champion Dragway operational manager William Amstad said emergency crews on standby at the raceway were on the scene within seconds.
They found 40-year-old Fiddes unconscious inside his badly damaged Camaro.
As he regained consciousness, firefighters managed to cut him from the $80,000 car, which had only just been imported from America.
Speaking from Waikato Hospital, Fiddes told the Herald he only remembered waking up to find people cutting him out of his car, which is beyond repair.
Fiddes, who had minor injuries, hoped to be back behind the driver's seat as soon as possible.