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Old 09-21-2005, 12:54 PM   #9
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: Yardley, PA
2002 x2 Silver WRX
Sedan, White WRX Wagon


Originally Posted by Subie Gal
well i thought that i'd already explained that

it's like this.
80mph - into a tree = 160mph impact
- speed doubles when you hit something that abruptly, just like a head on collision -

this is not a rollover. flip. dip off the road.
this was like hitting a brick wall.
the worst kind of rally accident that can be had.
I think eurojax brings up an excellent point and while I don't think you're being rude, I think you're incorrect in your assessement of the crash and letting emotion get in the way of a potentially valid conversation. I can understand your sorrow as this is your life (rally) and maybe this isn't the right thread for it, but the crash itself warrants discussion if it can help save lives in the future.

First, I think you're example isn't quite right. I don't mean to be a dick, but 80mph into a tree is not a 160mph "impact." It's 80mph into a tree. If you're traveling at 80mph and hit an identical CAR traveling 80mph in a head on collision, granted it's not the same as hitting a "brick wall" (or giant immovable oak tree) at 80mph in terms of "impact" because cars tend to deform, but it isn't all that DISimilar either. However is it NOTHING like hitting a brick wall or tree or another car at 160mph- speed doesn't "double" when you hit immovable objects compared to hitting things like parked cars or sapplings, nor does it if you were to hit somebody head on traveling the same speed with the same mass. An 80mph impact is an 80mph impact with the understanding that the object you impact has mass that can be less than, equal to, or greater than your mass.

I am in total agreement that the crash was the worst kind of crash there can be, just like the Earnhardt crash- it was the impulse that caused the death, or the integral of the the force over the time elapsed in addition to the change in momentum. I only have a a high-school understanding of physics but my understanding is that the less time it takes for you go from x to 0, the more likely you are to die, especially as X increases. So maybe I'm wrong here, but Eurojax brings up a valid argument that many people in this thread have glossed over: WHY IS MARKKO ALIVE? To me, that is a very important question that needs to be answered and investigated. It wasn't magic or luck, IMO, it must have had something to do with physics. Nobody has any detailed pictures of the accident (interior of the car) so we are only able to speculate, but IMO (uneducated, of course) I think Park got crushed or hit by the tree or cage; it wasn't simply the impact (impulse) of the whole car hitting the tree that killed him- the human body can withstand an amazing amount of g-forces before having your insides become liquified. If one is arguing that Park broke his neck instantly (the basal skull fracture thing) then why didn't Markko since the two of them basically experience the same g-forces for the duration of the crash. Why am I convinced that it wasn't just a typical Earnhardt type crash?

Because Markko was unhurt after the accident. I can understand how the impulse and force of the collision gets transferred AROUND the occupants in the car, through the cage, through the body panels, seats, seatbelts, dissapated in sound and heat, etc. but the car was relatively intact after the crash (not split in half or anything), which means that if it was a blunt force trauma as some have speculated, that means Markko would have also experienced nearly the exact same blunt force trauma as Park, and yet somehow, miraculously survived COMPLETELY unhurt? That's like saying Earnhardt would've died on impact, yet if he had a codriver, he/she would have been unhurt? Impossible.

As I posted above and in another thread, I feel nothing but sincere sorrow for the WRC community, Park's family and fans. But that doesn't mean we just sweep the crash under the carpet, call it a tragedy and reality of racing, and just move on. And wanting to know more about it doesn't make us morbid or souless- again, back to the Earnhardt example, after the crash was investigated HANS was routinely cited as a possible safety solution that MIGHT have kept him alive. It was hardly mentioned prior to his death. In fact, I would argue that HIS crash was THE #1 reason HANS et al are as popular as they are today.

My point? We can possibly learn something from this tragic event and somebody like Eurojax asking "what went wrong" deserves more of an answer than "they hit a tree." I disagree it was simply blunt force trauma that killed Park and my reasoning is because Markko wasn't injured. Perhaps there was a weakness in the design of the car or the cage? I don't know, but I would strongly argue that whatever forces that acted upon Park also acted upon Markko. I think the tree intruded into the passenger compartment either wholly or caused the cage to deform into the passenger compartment causing fatal injuries to the codriver. IF that's true (and it's only my wild speculation) then perhaps there could be improvements in cage design better to protect against side impact? Perhaps there should be a minimum separation of inches on all sides between occupant and cage? I don't know, but I bet we could learn something from it. Who knows, maybe if he was wearing a HANS or similar he would have lived. The bottom line is we really DON'T know. Maybe it's too soon for some to talk about this and for that I apologize, perhaps this could be moved to a new thread?
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