The fire marshalls stationed at the corner where the accident occurred were both poorly trained and badly equipped, with Purley snatching the only fire extinguisher available to try and extinguish the fire.
In 1973, Formula One returned to the Zandvoort for the Dutch Grand Prix, after an absence of a year due to extensive safety upgrades to the race track which amongst others included new asphalt, installation of barriers and building a new race control tower.
This race was only the second Formula One start for the March team and the second Grand Prix race for the promising Williamson.
Fellow driver David Purley came to Williamson’s aid but he was unable to overturn the car.
Initially some people, like the commentators on Dutch tv, race control and some of the other drivers participating in the race, thought that Purley was the driver that belonged to the burning car, and thus thought that the driver had gotten away safely.
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He had a poor engine and the smoke was pouring out, but he still kept passing the cars.” “I went and found him afterwards.
He was sitting there with the engine out on the pavement, trying to mend it.
And he explained that the day Williamson died had been ‘so strange’ with an occurrence of number 13s.
“The day he died was so strange, just lots of little things,” said Wheatcroft.
You know the ones that make you choked-up because you can feel the anguish and pain of the situation?