Father wants Top Gear to scrap footage of a mock accident

Top Gear presenters Jeremy Clarkson, left, and James May at the scene of the stage crash in Charlbury

Top Gear presenters Jeremy Clarkson, left, and James May at the scene of the stage crash in Charlbury

First published in News
Last updated
Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Headington and Marston. Call me on (01865) 425411

A DEVASTATED father has hit out at BBC car show Top Gear for filming a mock accident yards from where his daughter was killed in a crash.

Jane Sandalls, 26, of Woodstock, died after a car skidded on ice into her Peugeot 106 on January 21, 2010, on the B4437 Woodstock Road, near Charlbury.

Her father, John Sandalls, now wants the BBC to scrap the footage the show filmed of stunted accidents with Peugeots opposite where the fatal crash happened.

But the show said the footage of two cars rolling into a ditch and corn field at low speed would still be used in a “light-hearted look” at the French cars.

Mr Sandalls, 56, of The Green, Charlbury, said: “It’s a very raw subject. I know it’s coming up to five years since she died but she has not gone out of my mind.

“I feel devastated really – they should think about other people’s feelings before they film.

“They would not like it if it happened to their family, that’s my opinion.”

The filming involved Top Gear presenters Jeremy Clarkson and James May rolling their cars into a ditch and corn field.

The Oxford Mail understands it did not involve high-speed collisions.

But Mr Sandalls said it had still brought back painful memories of his daughter’s death.

He said: “Life has been one big struggle for the last four years.

“We were devastated when Jane died, we were never going to be the same again after that crash no matter how hard you try.

“I have had counselling and been on anti-depressants since the crash – it all brings back memories.

“Don’t get me wrong, I watch Top Gear and some bits are a bit of a laugh but some things are childish.”

Mr Sandalls added that his 29-year-old daughter Anna had made a complaint to the BBC, which said it would respond within two weeks.

Oxford Mail:

  • John Sandalls at the scene where his daughter Jane was killed in a crash in 2010

Andy Wilman, the show’s executive producer, said the road was chosen because the ditch was “well known for novices going into”.

He said: “We categorically did not choose that spot because there had been an accident there.

“What we were doing was a light-hearted look at Peugeot driving so there’s not high-speed horror crashes.”

Mr Wilman added that the show would contact Mr Sandalls to discuss his concerns.

He said: “Of course as a father I would have sympathy for another father who has lost one of their children in a crash.

“We will talk with Mr Sandalls directly.”

Oxford Mail:

  • Jane Sandalls

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Comments (9)

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7:28am Mon 21 Jul 14

tinsel84 says...

Wherever they film this it's likely to be near where someone died.

No one is going to force the family to watch .
Wherever they film this it's likely to be near where someone died. No one is going to force the family to watch . tinsel84
  • Score: 13

8:17am Mon 21 Jul 14

Oflife says...

Oh dear, the British obsession with being an eternal victim continues, what happened to our stiff upper lip and keeping quiet? What has Top Gear got to do with a personal tragedy? It's like saying they cannot film a comedy in a hospital because a friend or relative was ill or passed away there, even a day after. What's wrong with this country people? It never used to be like this!
Oh dear, the British obsession with being an eternal victim continues, what happened to our stiff upper lip and keeping quiet? What has Top Gear got to do with a personal tragedy? It's like saying they cannot film a comedy in a hospital because a friend or relative was ill or passed away there, even a day after. What's wrong with this country people? It never used to be like this! Oflife
  • Score: 14

10:20am Mon 21 Jul 14

dixie74 says...

Have some thoughts to the family who lost there loved one unless u have been in this situation by the way I haven't u don't know what it is like
Have some thoughts to the family who lost there loved one unless u have been in this situation by the way I haven't u don't know what it is like dixie74
  • Score: -1

4:40pm Mon 21 Jul 14

steve76 says...

what roads haven't had a death crash!! It's harsh but get over it life goes on the show wasn't aimed at you..
AND yes i have lost 2 members of my family in crash so i know what it feels like...
what roads haven't had a death crash!! It's harsh but get over it life goes on the show wasn't aimed at you.. AND yes i have lost 2 members of my family in crash so i know what it feels like... steve76
  • Score: 1

6:30pm Mon 21 Jul 14

Dilligaf2010 says...

If anyone else has a crash there, will they be accused of copying and being unsympathetic?
If anyone else has a crash there, will they be accused of copying and being unsympathetic? Dilligaf2010
  • Score: 1

9:39pm Mon 21 Jul 14

jimm says...

They were not filming somewhere 'near' where the woman died, they were filming right where she died.

Had a relative of someone associated with Top Gear died there, you can bet your life they wouldn't have been filming a 'light-hearted look at Peugeot driving' (whatever that means) on the same spot, never mind how stiff their upper lips are.
They were not filming somewhere 'near' where the woman died, they were filming right where she died. Had a relative of someone associated with Top Gear died there, you can bet your life they wouldn't have been filming a 'light-hearted look at Peugeot driving' (whatever that means) on the same spot, never mind how stiff their upper lips are. jimm
  • Score: 2

12:01am Tue 22 Jul 14

Dilligaf2010 says...

jimm wrote:
They were not filming somewhere 'near' where the woman died, they were filming right where she died.

Had a relative of someone associated with Top Gear died there, you can bet your life they wouldn't have been filming a 'light-hearted look at Peugeot driving' (whatever that means) on the same spot, never mind how stiff their upper lips are.
How were they meant to know?
Are you suggesting researchers for TV programmes, and films, scour the news archives to ensure nothing has happened in the places they're planning on filming, just in case somebody might get upset?
People die, it happens, there's nothing we can do about it, family and friends will grieve for varying periods of time, but it doesn't mean the rest of the world has to walk on eggshells.
[quote][p][bold]jimm[/bold] wrote: They were not filming somewhere 'near' where the woman died, they were filming right where she died. Had a relative of someone associated with Top Gear died there, you can bet your life they wouldn't have been filming a 'light-hearted look at Peugeot driving' (whatever that means) on the same spot, never mind how stiff their upper lips are.[/p][/quote]How were they meant to know? Are you suggesting researchers for TV programmes, and films, scour the news archives to ensure nothing has happened in the places they're planning on filming, just in case somebody might get upset? People die, it happens, there's nothing we can do about it, family and friends will grieve for varying periods of time, but it doesn't mean the rest of the world has to walk on eggshells. Dilligaf2010
  • Score: 0

10:17am Tue 22 Jul 14

oafie says...

Clarkson also advocates driving whilst talking on a mobile phone- many find that funny, until it directly affects them.
Clarkson also advocates driving whilst talking on a mobile phone- many find that funny, until it directly affects them. oafie
  • Score: 1

12:35pm Tue 22 Jul 14

Taff Ewe says...

I think that telling someone to get over the loss of their daughter is a complete pratt. Life does not go on, I cannot imagine how your life could ever be the same.

Had Top Gear known that somebody had died there then they should have used another area of road, but they surely did not know this and to re-film would be very expensive. It is an awkward subject, but you must give them the benefit of the doubt. The family must avoid watching the show.
I think that telling someone to get over the loss of their daughter is a complete pratt. Life does not go on, I cannot imagine how your life could ever be the same. Had Top Gear known that somebody had died there then they should have used another area of road, but they surely did not know this and to re-film would be very expensive. It is an awkward subject, but you must give them the benefit of the doubt. The family must avoid watching the show. Taff Ewe
  • Score: 1

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