Tommy Watts made the speed record attempt in his truck, on a six kilometres section of the Rosedale-Longford Road, near the city of Sale in the Gippsland region of the Australian state of Victoria, blocked by the Rosedale Shire Council for the record attempts weekend. On Sunday, 02 March 1980 he had earlier broken four speed records for the national standing half and quarter mile and half kilometre and the flying mile. A dispute over times for the remaining record, the flying kilometre, resulted in his last ill-fated attempt.
During his run, Watts lost control of the truck after veering into gravel at a speed of over 160 mi/h (257.4 mi/h), and was unable to stay on the road despite turning off his engines and releasing two parachutes. The vehicle skidded for more than 600 meters, knocked down two white marker posts, 16 metres of paddock fencing and disappeared in a cloud of dust over an adjacent railway line, and then flew in the air and rolled over before coming to rest on its wheels. Tommy Watts was killed almost instantly when thrown from the cabin.
Onlookers said that Tommy Watts failed to follow a planned safety program of running off the road into a flat paddock because of the chance of crashing into bystanders. Instead he swerved off the other side of the road and crashed.
Thomas Henry Watts|
|Vehicle||Foden "Puff the Magic Dragger"|
|Event||Australian Land Speed Record for Trucks|
|Photo Credit||Sydney Morning Herald|
|Tags||Ejected, Speed Record Attempt|
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