F1 horror crash driver ‘awake and able to speak’

PUBLISHED: 10:14 13 July 2012 | UPDATED: 11:33 13 July 2012

Maria de Villota

Maria de Villota

Archant

A TEST driver left with serious head and facial injuries after crashing a Formula 1 car into a lorry at the Imperial War Museum Duxford is awake and speaking.

Maria De Villota, 32, lost her right eye as a result of the crash on Tuesday, July 3, and has endured a series of lengthy operations at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge.

The Spaniard was performing straight line testing on the museum’s air strip for F1 team Marussia but completed only one run before careering into a lorry tail lift.

A team spokesman said: “Following two successful surgical procedures in the days following the accident, last Saturday the medical team at Addenbrooke’s Hospital began to gradually reduce the level of Maria’s sedation.

“By Sunday morning, Maria was awake and able to speak to her family, which provided a very important - albeit early - indication that there were positive signs for Maria’s recovery.

“Since that time, Maria has been making small but significant steps.

“She was moved out of the Neurological Critical Care Unit on Monday and is no longer receiving sedation. Her family remain by her side and she is communicating freely with them and the medical team. Medical assessments are ongoing to monitor Maria’s improving condition.

She had been travelling at speeds of up to 200mph before the accident but is thought to have crashed at around 20-30mph when she was coming into a make shift pit area.

Shortly after the collision ambulance service spokesman Gary Sanderson described the driver’s injuries as “life threatening”.

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