The 1955 Le Mans disaster occurred during the 1955 24 Hours of Le Mans motor race, when a crash caused large pieces of racing car debris to fly into the crowd. Eighty-three spectators and driver Pierre Levegh died at the scene and 120 more were injured in the most catastrophic accident in motorsport history.
June 11, 1955 Lemans disaster. Spectators flee as the Mercedes-Benz exploded as it hit the grandstand. Parts of the wreckage were blown into the enclosure killing at least 80 people. The driver, Pierre Levegh, was killed outright. This was the biggest disaster at a motor racing circuit up to that time. Mercedes-Benz withdrew from all motor racing at the end of the 1955 season and didn't return until 1987.
The 1955 Le Mans Disaster is the single most deadly crash in motor racing history. 83 spectators (and driver Pierre Levegh) were brutally killed, and 120 were injured – many severely. The accident and its repercussions saw Mercedes withdraw from motorsport entirely, and they didn’t begin competing again until 1989 – 34 years later.