Posted on September 23, 2006 | Tags: General
Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond is continuing to recover in hospital, with friend Jeremy Clarkson saying the crash victim has taken his first steps.
The 36-year-old may be moved to a general medical ward in coming days, Leeds General Infirmary said.
It comes after his wife said the family had been “overwhelmed” with messages of support from around the world.
Mr Hammond suffered a “significant” brain injury when he crashed in a jet-powered car on Wednesday.
The accident is being investigated by the BBC, the police and the Health and Safety Executive.
The 36-year-old presenter’s condition is said by doctors to be “stable”.
A hospital spokesman said on Saturday Mr Hammond was continuing “to make good progress”.
“If this continues then he will be moved from the high dependency unit to a general medical ward at some point in the next few days,” he said.
‘Spoken and smiled’
Mr Hammond’s wife Amanda, known as Mindy, said she has had messages from around the world since his accident during filming near York.
His co-presenter Jeremy Clarkson, a Sun columnist, said in the paper the father-of-two got to his feet and walked “shakily” to the toilet during the early hours of Friday - just 30 hours after the crash.
Mrs Hammond told the Daily Mirror: “He’s starting to look like Richard again. He’s tough as hell and on his way back. He’s spoken and smiled. It’s early days and what has happened hasn’t really sunk in for him. The whole family is overwhelmed by everyone’s support. There have been so many flowers, cards and e-mails from around the world. To know that so many people love him is astounding. We want to thank everyone for their good wishes and prayers.”
Mr Hammond’s brother Nick told reporters his brother had improved since he saw him earlier in the week.
“He’s making good progress. We are very happy,” he said.
Fellow Top Gear presenter James May said on Friday he believed the injured presenter was “perfectly intact” after the pair had had a conversation at his hospital bedside.
“I’m not a doctor but I am his mate and I believe that deep inside the Hammond I know is perfectly intact,” he said.
The presenter had been driving a jet-powered dragster similar to the Vampire used by Colin Fallows to set the British land speed record of 300.3 mph.
Mr Hammond, from Cheltenham, Glos, had to be cut free after the car “veered off to the right” and its parachutes opened during a drive at Elvington airfield.
Primetime Land Speed Engineering, which supplied the car and a support team for the event, said the vehicle “had been prepared and was being operated to the highest of standards”.
The BBC said in a statement that it had started an investigation into the accident and promised full co-operation with the HSE.
A BBC spokeswoman also confirmed the final part of the Best of Top Gear, which was due to be screened on 1 October, had been postponed indefinitely.
It would have been broadcast ahead of the new series of Top Gear but the corporation has said it is not in a position to confirm the transmission of the new series.