BBC faces questions amid claims Flintoff raised concerns before crash

BBC faces fresh questions amid claims Andrew Flintoff raised safety concerns with Top Gear team on the day of his horror 130mph crash

  • Andrew Flintoff was ‘lucky to be alive’ after his horror crash in December 2022
  • Former England cricket captain has returned to public eye with injuries visible

The BBC is facing fresh questions amid claims Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff raised safety concerns with the Top Gear crew on the day of his horror 130mph crash.

The former England cricket captain was ‘lucky to be alive’ after his open-topped three-wheel 130mph Morgan Super 3 car, which had no air bags, flipped over on December 13 last year, leaving him with severe facial injuries and several broken ribs.

Top Gear is already facing an uncertain future amid concerns over its health and safety protocols, but fresh revelations about the day of the crash have mounted further pressure on BBC chiefs.

Flintoff, who was seen for the first time since his crash earlier this month as he joined the England cricket squad as a coach, is said to have to raised his fears to senior BBC chiefs.

A source told The Sun: ‘Freddie voiced his worries about the safety of the stunt on set on the day of the accident.

The BBC is facing fresh questions amid claims that Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff raised safety concerns with the Top Gear crew on the day of his horror 130mph crash. Flintoff is pictured at England’s One Day International against Ireland yesterday

The former England cricket captain, 45, was ‘lucky to be alive’ after his three-wheeled Morgan Super 3 car, which did not have air bags, flipped over on December 13

Flintoff made a return to the public eye earlier this month as he joined England’s cricket side ahead of the ODI World Cup later this year

‘He questioned whether or not it was OK, given the vehicle and conditions on the track.

“He was apprehensive before he got behind the wheel and production staff at the track were aware of this.’

READ MORE: ‘Can the BBC keep risking their presenters like this?’ PR experts say Top Gear will struggle to get stars insured as its future hangs in the balance

The source added that Flintoff, 45, was used to taking part in stunts for the show but ‘alarm bells were ringing’.  

Top Gear has been on hiatus since filming for the 34th series was axed following the near-fatal crash at the show’s test-track at Dunsfold Aerodrome, in Surrey. 

Since then the future of show has been left hanging in the balance with some speculating it could be permanently taken off the air. It’s future will be decided after a health and safety review into the show is concluded, according to sources.

Flintoff was the second presenter to be almost killed in a crash on the show, with Richard Hammond left in a coma following a horror smash in 2006. 

The Ashes hero had to wait an ‘agonising’ 45 minutes for an air ambulance – with the BBC later giving him an apology.

Flintoff has not yet spoken publicly on the crash but made a return to cricket as an England coach. The facial injuries he suffered were still visible on his face, although they are already showing signs of healing.

The former England Test captain has been spending time with the current squad over the summer ahead of the upcoming ODI World Cup, which is set to take place in India from October.

Top Gear’s future is hanging in the balance as health and safety bosses continue their probe into the near-fatal smash that almost killed co-host Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff. Flintoff is pictured with co-hosts Chris Harris and Paddy McGuiness

In 2006, Richard Hammond was on life support and in a coma after he was involved in a 320mph crash while filming a Top Gear stunt at York’s Elvington airfield

One of the great all-rounders of the English game and the hero of the 2005 Ashes triumph, Flintoff played 141 ODIs before retiring after England won the urn in 2009.

‘It’s important for him, and it’s great for the lads to have him around,’ Paul Collingwood, England’s assistant Test coach, said about his ex-team-mate’s return.

READ MORE: How will Top Gear ever return to our screens? 

Flintoff quit Top Gear following the crash, while several members of staff who witnessed the accident signed off sick indefinitely as a result of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Earlier this month, PR experts said the show would struggle to get its stars insured, while there were claims only professionals could be allowed to take part in dangerous stunts.

As a major probe continues into the incident, it emerged last month that one of the show’s top executives, Clare Pizey – who had been its editorial director since March last year – is due to leave, casting fresh uncertainty over its future.

Flintoff was the latest host injured in horrific accidents while filming Top Gear, following on from former host Richard Hammond, who was left in a coma after losing control of a jet-powered racer, and Paddy McGuiness, who cheated death after crash a Lamborghini in the Yorkshire Dales in 2020.

In the aftermath of Flintoff’s crash, his wife Rachael reportedly begged him to stay off work.

The father-of-four was ‘lucky to be alive’ when his open-topped three-wheel Morgan Super 3 flipped over in freezing conditions, according to his son.

One of the great all-rounders, Flintoff was an iconic symbol of the 2005 Ashes-winning side

Flintoff’s injuries were still visible nine months on from the crash which left him with broken ribs and facial bones

The cricketer turned TV star furthered his self-appointed ‘daredevil’ role while on Top Gear

Filming on the series was suspended while Flintoff recovered from his injuries and investigations took place, with reports the former professional cricketer was putting his TV career on hold.

An insider told The Times in March: ‘Freddie has been seriously emotionally and physically affected by the crash. He is a daredevil, that’s what he does, and he doesn’t feel like he is able to continue to play that role on the show.’

Reports said Flintoff had decided to leave the programme before the BBC confirmed in March it was halting filming of the following series, which had been set for release in the autumn.

The Mail on Sunday reported the high-speed accident and horrific injuries of the former England cricket star had a ‘significant effect’ on witnesses, preventing them from returning to work.

Sources say that there were many staff present at last December’s smash at the Top Gear test track at Dunsfold Park aerodrome.

One said: ‘The scenes were awful, something you would truly want to unsee. The idea of returning to do that kind of work again for some people is just too much.

‘It has been a terribly hard time for everyone involved in the crash. Some are still struggling with it so have been signed off work.’

Flintoff has yet to take any legal action, but it isn’t known if any of the production team have.

After the incident his 16-year-old son Corey told MailOnline: ‘He’s OK. I’m not too sure what happened but he is lucky to be alive.

‘It was a pretty nasty crash. It is shocking. We are all shocked but just hope he’s going to be OK.’

MailOnline has contacted the BBC for comment. 

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