Erik Comas recovered from the horrific crash and was back for the following Grand Prix in Monza
The incident took place on August 28, 1992 during a practice session of the Belgian Grand Prix. French driver Erik Comas crashed hard at the Belanchmont corner and his car ended up in the middle of the track at Spa-Francorchamps. Ayrton Senna was passing through but immediately stopped his car and ran over to help his colleague. Comas had passed out but still had his foot on the throttle. Senna quickly turned the Ligier’s engine off to prevent a potential large scale explosion.
After Senna administered first aid, the marshals and the medical team arrived at the scene. Erik Comas believes Senna was instrumental in preventing something more serious from happening. “He turned off the car’s ignition, avoiding an explosion. At that moment, Ayrton Senna saved my life”, Comas said later on in an interview.
Since Comas was recovering in hospital, he couldn’t take any further part in the Belgian GP but was back for the following race in Monza while Ayrton Senna went on to secure fifth place at the Belgian Grand Prix.
Ayrton Senna passed away in a horrific crash two years later
Ayrton Senna was always vocal about the safety of F1 drivers and was the leading figure in the campaign for the cause. As fate would have it, Senna passed away in a horrific accident in the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari circuit.
During the race, Senna rounded the high-speed Tamburello corner on lap 7 and his car left the racing line at around 307 km/h, ran in a straight line off the track and smashed against a concrete wall. Within two minutes of crashing, Senna was extracted from his car and his initial treatment took place by the side of his car with Senna having a weak heartbeat and significant blood loss. Senna was airlifted to the hospital and was declared dead in the evening.
A few years after Senna’s death, Erik Comas opened up on the incident. “There I was standing next to a man who, two years earlier, had saved my life and I couldn’t do anything to help him. That felt horrible”, said Comas.
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