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Last Updated: Thursday January 18 2007 13:41 GMT

First Hammond crash pics released

The car crash which in which Top Gear star Richard Hammond was injured

Dramatic pictures of the high-speed car accident which nearly killed TV presenter Richard Hammond have been published for the first time.

The Top Gear star crashed a jet-powered car he was testing for the show at an airfield in York last September.

The photos show a tyre bursting just before the car skidding and flipped over, trapping Hammond inside.

He was airlifted to hospital where he was treated for a brain injury but he has since made an amazing recovery.

Doctors had thought he'd be in hospital for months but he was back at home after just two weeks.

No memory

Richard Hammond
Richard Hammond
The 37-year-old dad, who is nicknamed the Hamster, said he didn't remember much of the crash.

He said: "I will have taken a few deep breaths on the start line as the engine roared and my thumb hovered over the afterburner switch.

"Then I will have hit it and 10,000 horsepower will have hurled me towards the horizon and up to 280mph. The rest is, I'm afraid, history," he added.

Hammond is expected to return to presenting Top Gear soon. A video of the crash is expected to be broadcast in the first episode of the new series of Top Gear on 28 January.

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