MotorTrend Host Nearly Killed In Audi R8 Crash Recounts Her Recovery

Illustration for article titled iMotorTrend/i Host Nearly Killed In Audi R8 Crash Recounts Her Recovery

Last year MotorTrend's video host Jessi Lang flew to Germany to test an extremely powerful tuned Abt Audi R8. She opened the car up on a local highway, and then her life nearly ended.

A slow-moving car pulled into her lane while she and an Abt tuner riding in the passenger seat screamed down one of the country's well-surfaced arterial roads. Thanks to the car's big brakes, tough construction, and additional rollcage, Lang and her passenger survived. Her leg was so shattered bones broke through the skin and she spent a year bedridden, then wheelchair-bound, and then struggling through physical therapy.


Lang describes the whole episode in this short film her crash, hospitalization, and physical therapy.

It's rare to have a documentary account of a near-death car crash, from the lead-up and all the way through the recovery. That this all happened to a video host for one of YouTube's most popular channels gives us the full account. It's a clearer sense of how brutally car crashes can tear up our bodies, and how difficult it is to return to some sense of normalcy.


Lang was in what would have been one of the safest cars possible for that kind of crash, and she was equipped better than most for her recuperation, with an athlete's training in martial arts. That she had what was almost a best-case scenario makes the pain and work she went through all the more harrowing.

UPDATE: I originally reported that Lang was driving on the Autobahn. This is not the case. As this local news report states, she was driving on a local highway, divided, with two lanes in either direction. You can see pictures of the road right here and you can see where she was on Google Maps here, on the 2 between the towns of Schwabach and Roth. There was likely a speed limit of 100km/h (62 mph) on this road.

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Jonathan Harper

Sure, we all talk about how "Motorsport is the only real sport, because all the others only require one ball..." etc, etc, etc...BUT:

I think it's important to be a little afraid of a car, and to acknowledge that fear. To recognize that fear of a vehicle is to know your place. No matter how much horsepower, how much safety equipment, or how much money you've put into it, a driver needs to realize that they are the stupidest part of a vehicle.