Dale Earnhardt, one of the most famous race car drivers in history, died from injuries he got in a crash on the last lap of the Daytona 500. Let’s find out Dale Earnhardt Cause of Death.
Dale Earnhardt Cause of Death: What injury killed Earnhardt?
Earnhardt died of a basilar skull ring fracture, which was the same injury that killed Adam Petty, Kenny Irwin, and Tony Roper in the eight months before Earnhardt’s death. This is the most serious type of skull fracture, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine.
It involves a break in the bone at the base of the brain. It usually causes a lot of serious bleeding in that area. Roland Ratzenberger (F1), Blaine Johnson (NHRA drag racing), Blaise Alexander (ARCA stock cars), and Gonzalo Rodriguez (IndyCar) all died from similar injuries.
The tweets below show fans’ love for Dale:
The injury is caused by a blow to the chin, jaw, or face, a blow to the front, back, or side of the head, a blow to the top of the head, or inertial head loading, which is when the spine and neck muscles have to work to stop the head from moving.
NASCAR’s crash report, which came out in August 2001, said, “Dale Earnhardt’s death was most likely caused by a blow to the back of the head. This wasn’t caused by just one thing but by a combination of strange things.” These included the unusual severity and path of the car’s contact with the wall, a collision with Schrader’s car right before the crash that put him out of position, and a left lap belt that broke while the car was moving, which gave the car more room to move.
During the crash, Earnhardt’s left lap belt broke, which let his body move forward and to the right inside the car. His autopsy showed that the bottom of his chin had hit the steering wheel, and he had taken a second blow to the back of his head as he fell back into his seat. There were scuff marks around the head-surround area of his seat.
When Earnhardt hit the wall, his open-faced helmet turned forward, letting the back of his head show. He didn’t wear a head or neck harness like some of the other drivers that day.
His injuries did not kill him: he broke eight ribs, his left foot, and his sternum.
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What Happened in the Crash That Killed Earnhardt?
Earnhardt was the back gunner for his Dale Earnhardt, Inc. team cars as they raced around the last lap of the race to stop any late runs from the chasing pack. As the cars sped through Turns 3 and 4 on that last, fateful lap, Earnhardt kept up the rough-and-tumble style that was his signature.
As he threw his last block, Earnhardt’s left-rear corner hit Sterling Marlin’s right-front tire, which freed his car. Earnhardt struggled to stay in control. His car hit the apron, which shook it up even more. It then started to spin clockwise, moving up the track and into the path of Rusty Wallace and Ken Schrader, who were close behind.
Schrader’s left-front corner hit Earnhardt’s right-rear corner, which made Earnhardt’s car tilt even more before it nosed into the exposed concrete.
At the time, it looked like a “normal” NASCAR crash, but the hit at this angle was very bad for the person inside. As his car and Schrader’s car went down the track at the same time, Earnhardt’s right rear wheel came off, which showed how violently the car had been shaken.
Schrader was not hurt at all when his car hit the wall next to Earnhardt’s at about the same speed but at a much less steep angle. Moments later, medical help arrived, but despite their best efforts, there wasn’t much they could do for Earnhardt. The only thing they could do was put him in an ambulance and take him to the nearby Halifax Medical Center, where he was later declared dead.
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