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Old 02-23-2001, 09:05 AM   #1
macrac
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Post Earnhardt’s lap belt found broken

They are saying this is what probably killed him. Whatta shame...
http://www.msnbc.com/news/535019.asp
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Old 02-23-2001, 09:09 AM   #2
Jon Bogert
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I thought he died from head injuries? When are the autopsy results due?
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Old 02-23-2001, 09:15 AM   #3
RobbiSpec
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There's also a rumor that the seat was completely free of its mountings.
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Old 02-23-2001, 09:18 AM   #4
macrac
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Yes, he did die of head injuries. But they are now saying that his seat belt was broken either on impact or before the crash - it caused him to hit the steering wheel, chin first.

They are saying that if the belt held, the chance were good that he would have survived.
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Old 02-23-2001, 10:25 AM   #5
Lifino
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I know it's morbid and most will think it's in bad taste. If I offend you, I'm sorry, you can live the rest of your life knowing that you are a much better person than I.

Did any of the video of the crash ever make it to the web? I never saw any of the footage. I don't watch the news/sportscenter, and have made a point of not reading these threads, because I just didn't want to get involved. But I would like to see what happened. I hear that there was a camera inside the car. A friend of mine saw it on TV, he said that you can't see Dale in the shot, but that it was enough to freak him pretty bad...

Thanks
-Silas
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Old 02-23-2001, 10:34 AM   #6
NeedaScooby
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Same stuff here too. http://www.speedvision.com/pub/artic...r/010223a.html

Specular about a closed helmet(could have possibly saved him) is starting to rear it's head.

[This message has been edited by NeedaScooby (edited February 23, 2001).]
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Old 02-23-2001, 10:46 AM   #7
macrac
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Lifino,

Yes, I saw the in-car footage as well, during the race. You could not see Dale in the picture. It was pretty erie...

Now a days, with the more populate drivers - like Dale was, there are usually cameras all over their cars. (sometimes up to 4 or 5.)

PURELY SPECULATION BUT: Most likely, NASCAR does have some footage of Dale on impact. (That's probably why they are so sure that 1. the seat belt was broken on or before impact and 2. Dale hit the steering wheel.)

If they do have footage of Dale - unfortunately, it will only be a matter of time before it somehow makes it's way out on to the Net...



[This message has been edited by macrac (edited February 23, 2001).]
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Old 02-23-2001, 10:59 AM   #8
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I heard that the autopsy reports showed that he died due to trama to the rear base of the skull (right where the spine meets the brain stem).
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Old 02-23-2001, 01:18 PM   #9
cvalle-sd
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It made me sad all over again. This is one of "those things that has to happen before anything will change". I always wondered why they wore open-face helmets, considering the high speeds, hard barriers and heavy cars. All this, for want of a simple seat belt. My first reaction upon hearing o fhis death and seeing the video was "THAT!?" You can see plenty of crashes that are more severe-looking than that. I really hope the backlash from this tragedy will make all drivers safer. I wonder if any rally drivers will abandon open-face helmets. I know their crashes are at lower speeds, and usually involve drops or impacts with trees, berms, etc.
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Old 02-23-2001, 01:48 PM   #10
Dirt Man
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Unhappy

Fore more info and the complete story check out http://washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/sports/


[This message has been edited by Dirt Man (edited February 23, 2001).]
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Old 02-23-2001, 05:40 PM   #11
TurboDude390
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I was shocked when I heard about the harness. This makes me wonder what type of tech the vehicle goes thru before each NASCAR race.
I can say that in drag racing at NHRA's track in Indianapolis (IRP) they check every time I show up. The belts and harnesses are one of the things they ALWAYS check.
In NHRA you can only use the harnessed for 2 years. At the time they can be sent back in and be re-certified for two more years. Then they have to be replaced.
They always make sure they are attached properly and fully functional.
I am totally baffeled that this went un-noticed before pratice even started.
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Old 02-23-2001, 05:43 PM   #12
Lifino
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I saw Jr. today live at lunch. It sounded like he was saying that he was going to be racing this weekend. Gotta hand it to him, it's the best way to deal with tragedy, just throw yourself back into it. My only hope is that they take it easy this week and don't push the safety barriers.

I also hope that the accident doesn't make Jr. dangerous. Like Schumaker(sp?) last year, when he spun the car, he was so far ahead that he still won. After the race, when asked, he said that he let his attention slip, just a little, for only half a second, and that's when he lost control... at 170-180 it doesn't matter how simple a slip up it is, it's going to be bad.

-Silas
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Old 02-23-2001, 07:41 PM   #13
Tangmere
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The autopsy revealed that Dale had 8 broken ribs and a broken ankle on his left side, consistent with what the broken lap belt would cause. The broken belt gave him just enough slack to pitch him forward and sideways to smack his chin on the steering wheel, breaking his neck. The belts were new in November when the car was built.
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Old 02-23-2001, 09:44 PM   #14
98mpreziveRS
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yeah but also what most people don't realize is if you leave your harness exposed to direct sunlight that too will weaken the belt its all in the manual and saftey book for building a pro-rally car (not that i'd know or anything.. *evil shrug* )

and that is extremely sad to hear. may he rest in peice and hopefully some good will come of this..more stringint saftey rules and more carfull checks although freak occurences do happen and nothing can be done to prevent these..but maybe someday something can be done

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Old 02-24-2001, 12:13 AM   #15
paultg
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About the camera thing, I think it was mounted on the roof of his car, not inside. I saw a replay of it from the roof while watching then end of the race. He might have had an in-car camera, but they did not show that on TV.

This is really horrible. I still can't believe it. It is going to be an interesting day on Sunday at Rockingham to say the least.

Paul G.
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Old 02-24-2001, 04:56 PM   #16
Dirt Man
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I wonder if Dale Jr. will switch over to a full face helmet now?
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