Vintage car driver, 80, dies when his 1903 classic vehicle collides with HGV lorry on M23

Vintage car driver, 80, dies when his 35mph 116-year-old classic vehicle leaves official route of London to Brighton rally and collides with HGV on the M23

  • Police are currently at the scene and the M23 has been closed in both directions 
  • An air ambulance was in attendance as well as paramedics and the fire brigade 
  • Person is thought to have been thrown from a vehicle and hit the windscreen
  • Comes just two years after a 68-year-old man died at the Veteran Car Run 

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One person has died after a 1903 vintage car collided with a HGV on the M23 in Surrey.

Police are currently at the scene where it is believed an 80-year-old has died after being thrown from the vehicle. 

The driver was certified dead at the scene and his elderly female passenger, understood to have been his wife, was flown to hospital by helicopter, suffering from serious head injuries. 

He had been signed up to participate in the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run and had left the official route when the collision happened.  

The M23 in Surrey is closed in both directions between J7 (A23) and J8 (M25) due to the fatal collision.

An air ambulance and the London Fire Brigade were in attendance as well as paramedics from the South East Coast ambulance service.

The M23 Has been closed in both direction and is likely to remain closed for several hours

Vintage car driver, 80, dies when his 1903 classic vehicle collides with HGV lorry on M23

Northbound traffic is able to travel anti clockwise following the accident this morning

Vintage car driver, 80, dies when his 1903 classic vehicle collides with HGV lorry on M23

The map above shows the area where the crash happened.

The M23 has now been closed from junctions 7 -8 (pictured above) in order to get south traffic has been advised to join J9

It is understood that a person was thrown from a vehicle and hit the windscreen of a lorry that was part of the road works. 

Speaking to MailOnline this afternoon, a spokesperson for the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run said: ‘We can confirm that the car involved in this morning’s tragic incident on the M23 had been entered in the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run.

‘The car had left the route, which does not include the M23 where the collision took place.

‘We are doing all we can to support the family concerned and are working with the police, but we cannot comment any further at this stage.’

It is thought the vehicle the victim had been travelling in was a 1903 Knox Runabout Old Porcupine.

When it was first released it was capable of hitting a top speed of 35mph through its 8hp two-cylinder engine.

The four-seater vintage rear-wheel drive vehicle was designed by Harry A. Knox – one of the pioneers of the horseless carriage industry – and initially sold for £2,000.

In 2012, one of the surviving models was sold at auction through Bonham’s for £69,000 (around GBP53,000).

Vintage car driver, 80, dies when his 1903 classic vehicle collides with HGV lorry on M23

The stock image above shows the type of vehicle which is believed to have been involved in the crash, a 903 Knox Runabout Old Porcupine (stock image above)

Vintage car driver, 80, dies when his 1903 classic vehicle collides with HGV lorry on M23

Police officers are pictured on the scene as well as a Highway Maintenance vehicle (left) 

Knox produced approximately 1,000 vehicles in 1904, including two- and four-cylinder cars and trucks.

The vehicle was known by its makers as ‘the car that never drinks’ because it was air cooled rather than water-cooled. 

The accident comes as many cars have travelled between London and Brighton for the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run.

Each year car enthusiasts drive their vintage rides – it is considered the most prolific retro car rally in the world. 

The event’s website states that all cars must be in ‘excellent condition’ in order to be able to withstand the 60-mile journey from the capital to the coast. 

Vintage car driver, 80, dies when his 1903 classic vehicle collides with HGV lorry on M23

A 904 De Dion Bouton driven along the Mall by Roger Horsfield London to Brighton veteran car run. Later in the event the M23 in Surrey was closed in both directions between J7 (A23) and J8 (M25) due to the fatal collision involving a separate veteran vehicle (victim is not pictured) 

Vintage car driver, 80, dies when his 1903 classic vehicle collides with HGV lorry on M23

1902 Mors driven along the Mall by Andrew Oldman accompanied by Alan Titchmarsh on the London to Brighton veteran car run.

An 80-year-old man was killed during this year’s event, police have said. His next of kin have been informed

The accident today comes just two years after 68-year-old David Corry was killed after his vehicle was involved in a four car crash during the Veteran Car Run. 

Mr Corry had been driving his 1902 Benz when his car was involved in a crash with a silver Ford C-max, a Mercedes GLE and a Fiat Fiorino.

After the incident, safety concerns were raised about the route the cars would take. 

Traffic from M23 J7 can use the A23 southbound towards Gatwick, and then join the M23 southbound from J9A.

Northbound traffic can either travel anti-clockwise on the M25 to J6, then the A22 northbound to Purley.

The road is expected to remain closed for several hours as investigation works continue. 

A spokesman for Surrey Police said: ‘We can confirm that a man has sadly died following a collision on the southbound carriageway of the M23 near J7 Hooley.

Vintage car driver, 80, dies when his 1903 classic vehicle collides with HGV lorry on M23

An air ambulance flew the badly injured wife from the scene to St. George’s Hospital (pictured above)

‘The collision, involving a car (1903 Knox Runabout Old Porcupine) and an HGV, took place around 10:00am.

‘The driver of the car, an 80-year-old man, was pronounced dead at the scene shortly after the collision and a female passenger has been taken to hospital by ambulance with serious injuries. Police have notified the man’s next of kin.

‘The road has been closed in both directions and will remain so while we investigate the incident and enable the motorway to reopen.

Anyone who witnessed the collision, or with any information which could assist our inquiries including dashcam footage, is asked to contact us on 101,’ said the spokesman.

An air ambulance flew the badly injured wife from the scene to St.

George’s Hospital, Tooting, London.

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