Fire fighting spectator ‘happy’ to speak with CAMS
One of the two spectators who jumped the fence in aid of Tim Pappas during practice for the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour has told Speedcafe.com he’s happy to speak with CAMS about the incident.
The fans came to the aid of Pappas who, according to one of the spectators involved, was motionless in the Black Swan Racing entry as the car caught light, using fire extinguishers from a nearby marshal post to fight the blaze.
Now under investigation by CAMS and Supercars Events, Trevor Jackson, the first fan over the fence, said he would welcome the opportunity to speak with organising bodies about the incident.
“We’re happy to sit down with them and have a chat with them,” Jackson said.
“They came and talked to me,” he added of the officials’ reaction after the event.
“We thought we were in trouble, I thought I was in trouble.”
Instead, a video recorded by Bob Reverman shows Jackson explaining what he did, with the conversation ending amicably.
Jackson says he made the decision to retrieve the extinguisher and enter the circuit through concern for Pappas and the slow reaction of officials.
“We looked over to the marshals, they’re looking at it and basically they’re not doing anything,” Jackson said.
“They’ve got four fire extinguishers, a big ball of flame, and then you could see through the car the fire in the car. Everyone’s yelling ‘there’s a fire’.”
With an engineering background, Jackson says he assessed the situation before entering the circuit and believes he was never in danger from another car or the fire.
“Cars are slowing, there’s nobody coming. The guy wasn’t moving… whether he was unconscious, he couldn’t move,” Jackson said.
“We yelled at him, that was the first thing to do; ‘your car’s on fire, your car’s on fire’.
“There was no (fire) truck coming. If there was a truck coming I wouldn’t have jumped the fence,” he reasoned.
“When it came towards us and burst into flames, the whole thing was engulfed in flames, the flame came right into the car, I knew the fuel tank had ruptured.
“I wanted to save that guy’s life. I knew the fuel tank had ruptured, it wasn’t going to explode, it had already ruptured, so I was putting out the fire in the car and behind the car.
“I didn’t just go in – because I’ve got an engineering background my mind’s going.”
Jackson says the extinguisher in the car hadn’t gone off, which played another factor in his decision making process.
“That’s all part of it, that’s why I jumped the fence. I knew that guy was in trouble.
“I’m just one of those guys; I’ll run towards trouble. If there’s someone in trouble I’ll help, and he was in trouble. He was in big trouble.
“I always analyse; ruptured truck, no (fire) truck… I’m not a ditherer.
“This is after 30 seconds screaming, everyone was screaming, from both sides of the track, ‘fire, fire’, and nothing. So I had to do something.”
Speedcafe.com understands that CAMS is interested in speaking with Jackson and the other spectator involved in the incident to help with their investigation.
The investigation into the incident is not expected to be resolved this weekend.
Video: Fans jump the fence to extinguish a fire in Tim Pappas’ Porsche at Bathurst