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2017-01-20 12:18

TERRIBLE CRASH: Hayden Paddon's Hyundai WRC car veers out of control at the Monte Carlo Rally crashing into a spectator. Image: Youtube

Monaco - A spectator was killed after being hit by a car during the first stage of the season-opening Monte Carlo rally, race organisers said.

Organisers said the spectator was struck by a car driven by New Zealand driver Hayden Paddon during the first of two night stages held on Thursday (January 19) night.

A World Rally Championship (WRC) statement said: "WRC would like to express sincere condolences to the family and friends of the victim of Thursday's tragic accident at Rallye Monte-Carlo. 

Stage 1 canceled

"The spectator was transported by helicopter from the stage to hospital in Nice. Despite the best efforts of the medical staff, the spectator has sadly died. An investigation has commenced into the incident and all involved parties will provide assistance to the authorities."

Stage 1 of the race was cancelled, although stage 2 was held later Thursday (January 19) night. The race concludes Sunday.

Paddon's Hyundai Motorsport team subsequently withdrew Paddon's car from the race as "a mark of respect." The team said the car hit a patch of black ice on the road and crashed into a mountainside.

Paddon said he was "incredibly saddened" by the incident.

"It's difficult to say much more at the moment as we are in shock with what has happened," Paddon said. "I'm sorry for the family, the fans and our sport."

Hyundai motorsport statement:

Read more on:    hyundai  |  monte carlo rally  |  monte carlo  |  wrc  |  motorsport

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