Irish Rally Driver Craig Breen Has Died — News Shocks Racing Community

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Apr. 14 2023, Published 9:53 a.m. ET

The news of Irish rally driver Craig Breen's death has sent shockwaves through the racing world. He died on April 13 in an accident during a test event ahead of a world championship race in Croatia.

Here's what we know about the circumstances surrounding his fatal crash.

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What was Craig Breen's cause of death?

While we don't have a medical name for Craig's cause of death yet, we know that his death was the result of a car crash. According to Croatian police, the accident occurred after Craig's car veered off the track and hit a wooden pole. There have been no reports about whether the car had a mechanical failure or about exactly how Craig died after hitting the pole.

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"Hyundai Motorsport is deeply saddened to confirm that driver Craig Breen today lost his life following an accident during the pre-event test for Croatia Rally," his team said in a statement. "Co-driver James Fulton was unharmed in the incident that occurred just after midday local time. Hyundai Motorsport sends its sincerest condolences to Craig's family, friends, and his many fans. Hyundai Motorsport will make no further comment at this time."

Craig Breen came from a racing family.

Craig had been competing in various racing events since 2009, and was living up to a legacy established by his father, who's a former Irish National Rally champion. Craig began his career in karting, and won several rally titles at both the national and international level. In 2012, he was involved in another crash in which his co-driver Gareth Roberts was killed.

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"On behalf of the FIA, I wish to extend our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Craig Breen following his passing during a private testing accident in Croatia," said Mohammed Ben Sulayem, the president of FIA, which governs many of the races Craig participated in. "Our thoughts and prayers are with his loved ones and the entire Rally community at this difficult time."

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Fans and fellow motorists mourned Craig Breen in the wake of his death.

Following the news of Craig's death, many posted statements of mourning about what his death means for both Ireland and for the racing community.

"Didn't see the Craig Breen news yesterday. What a disaster. One of Ireland's best, but most under-celebrated, sportsmen. May he rest in peace," one person wrote on Twitter.

"Lost for words so I’ll leave it to Craig: 'Don’t let anyone ever put you down because only you know your true potential.' Craig Breen 1990-2023," another person added.

Many formal sports organizations also paid their respects.

Craig will clearly be missed in the world of racing, where he had a massive impact and was a dominant figure. This crash, coupled with another which took place in Indiana recently and resulted in another fatality, may lead some to question whether racing is as safe as it should be for the drivers involved.

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