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Boat Racer’s Death Ruled Accidental

July 20, 1998

HAMBURG, Germany (AP) _ German police said Monday that no one was at fault the death Sunday of British world champion powerboat racer Andy Chesmen, who was killed in a high-speed collision during a race near Hamburg.

Chesmen, 52, died in his boat after two competitors at the European Formula 500 race struck each other and one of them veered into the British racer’s vehicle.

The boats were traveling at about 110 mph when the collision occurred on the Elbe River near Hamburg. Chesman’s oldest daughter was watching from the riverbank.

Hamburg police investigating the death said there was no ``guilty behavior″ on the part of the two other drivers. But they said the most likely cause of the collision was a driver’s mistake.

Poland’s Tadeusz Hareza and Italy’s Tiziano Trombetta also were slightly injured in the crash, according to Matthias Schmitting of the German automobile club ADC, the race sponsor. Both drivers are former world champions.

Last week, Chesmen captured the sport’s most prestigious prize, the world 500 cc championship. He had also set several world speed records, won European championships and was an international delegate with the sport’s governing body, the Union International .

The collision involving the three boats took place shortly after the race’s start, in which boats cross the starting line at speeds of 62 mph.

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