May 12: We have been rallying since 2004 and never had such a tragedy such as this on any rally we have participated in. Even on the World Rally 2011, covering 14,000 miles, no one had an accident, not even a fender-bender. Well that is a thing of the past.
Yesterday on the run from Knoxville to Memphis, ( we were making our way back from Leslie’s graduation and not actually on this run) the driver of the oldest car, the 1924 Bentley, missed a turn, attempted a U-turn and was hit broadside with enough force to flip the Bentley and pin one of the young women under it. I don’t know what kind of modern car (SUV perhaps?) hit them but both girls, sisters from Germany sustained broken bones, cuts and bruises. Both are currently in a hospital in Nashville. From the reports from other competitors and our rally organizers we have learned that one has at least one broken leg ,the other has a crushed pelvis. I don’t know the extent of the other injuries and don’t know if the driver of the car that hit them was hurt. They will both recover from their injuries, but most likely will be evacuated to Germany when that is possible.
The car they were driving is owned by their uncle who is also on the rally driving this 1929 Mercedes S. He is with them in Nashville and out of the rally as well. We don’t know if Herman will rejoin us as right now he has a lot of complications to deal with. First, of course, his nieces and their injuries, then what to do with the Bentley and of course decisions about the car he is driving and whether to continue with the rally. He brought these cars from his museum in Germany. The cars are both beautiful and expensive but not nearly as priceless as the health of his nieces.
We have enjoyed getting to know both Sonja and Claudia. They brought a real sparkle to this rally with their youth and enthusiasm. We will miss them and wish them speedy recovery. This has had a sobering effect on all of us. We want everyone to get safely to Anchorage, scores are not that important. After all, this is an event for fun and comraderie. Please drive defensively and take care on the road. Jan and Ed