An 80-year-old vintage car driver has died during the London to Brighton gathering following a crash with a lorry.
The motorist was driving a 1903 “Old Porcupine” veteran car when he was hit by a lorry after taking a wrong turn and ending up on the M23.
The driver was pronounced dead at the scene and the elderly woman passenger, assumed to have been his wife, was transported to St. George’s Hospital, Tooting, suffering from severe head injuries. It is understood that she was not informed of her husband’s death.
The crash occurred at the junction of the A23 and the M23. The man may have inadvertently taken the wrong turn, away from the rally’s route, and joined the motorway.
Resident Jocelyn Gregory, who witnessed the crash, said it was an accident “that did not need to happen”.
“There were not clear enough signs at the junction. If you are not familiar with the area, then it is an easy mistake to make. It was not organised properly. It is a huge junction. There should have been stewards.
“When the lorry hit, they flew up into the air like ragdolls. It was awful. I am not sure how the other passenger was still alive.” she said to the Telegraph.
Police, paramedics and fire crews rushed to the southbound carriageway of the M23 near junction seven, the turning to Hooley, Surrey, after the accident happened at around 10am.
The London to Brighton car run – which describes itself as “the world’s longest-running and greatest motoring celebration” – began from Clapham, London, and does not take in the motorway network.
A spokesman for the event said: “We can confirm that the car involved in this morning’s tragic incident on the M23 had been entered in the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run.
“The car had left the route, which does not include the M23 where the collision took place.
“We are doing all we can to support the family concerned and are working with the police, but we cannot comment any further at this stage.”
The car involved in the accident is an eight horsepower car with one cylinder which was air-cooled.
A spokesman for Surrey Police said: “We can confirm that a man has sadly died following a crash on the southbound carriageway of the M23 near J7 Hooley.
“The driver of the car, an 80-year-old man, was pronounced dead at the scene shortly after the accident and a female passenger has been taken to hospital by ambulance with serious injuries. Police have notified the man’s next of kin.
“The road has been closed in both directions and will remain so while we investigate the incident and enable the motorway to reopen. Anyone who witnessed the collision, or with any information which could assist our inquiries, including dashcam footage, is asked to contact us on 101.”