Russell Phillips

Russell Phillips Autopsy Report indicated that he suffered dismemberment and decapitation when his body was mutilated by the steel catch fence and caution light fixture at high speed while racing.

Phillips, a NASCAR Sportsman Division driver, who was born on March 6, 1960, met his untimely demise as a result of a fatal accident that occurred at the Charlotte Motor Speedway in the year 1995.


From Russell Phillips Autopsy Report to the changes made by NASCAR for safety measures, everything will be discussed here as we remember his tragic incident 28 years ago.

Russell Phillips Autopsy Report: Killed In A Crash At Charlotte Motor Speedway In 1995

Russell Phillips had started in 14 races before the 1995 Winston 100 at Charlotte, where he won his first pole position by setting a lap speed of 157.444 miles per hour (253.382 km/h).

He led the first two laps of the 1995 Winston 100 at Charlotte before falling back through the field and tragically crashing on lap 17 of the 67-lap event.

Phillips was in the tenth position when Steven Howard’s car collided with his Oldsmobile after Howard swerved to avoid a two-car spinout on the apron in turn 4.

His vehicle was struck by Steven Howard’s car during the race at Charlotte in 1995, causing it to flip onto its right side before colliding roof-first with the retaining wall and leading to his immediate death.

Russell Phillips Autopsy Report
Russell Phillips Autopsy Report: Killed In A Crash At Charlotte Motor Speedway In 1995 (Source: TB98)

According to Russell Phillips Autopsy Report and Video Recording, he suffered severe injuries while racing at high speed, resulting in his body being dismembered and decapitated due to the steel catch fence and caution light fixture on the track.

After the accident, the race track was strewn with debris, blood, and various body parts, which led to a prolonged interruption in the race while officials worked to remove them from the track.

Gruesome Video Recording Of His Death

The video footage at the accident site showed the first rescuer running towards Phillips’ car, only to immediately retreat upon witnessing the severity of his injuries, acknowledging the futility of any life-saving attempts.

As the video shows, the racetrack had to halt the race for an extended period while officials cleaned up the scattered wreckage, bloodstains, and numerous body parts.

Video captured Russell's Crash
Video captured Russell’s crash – Censored (Source: TB98)

The Internet still has the video of Russell Phillips’ fatal accident at Charlotte Motor Speedway, but it contains graphic content, including blood and decapitation.

A videographer at the scene characterized the crash as the most horrific one he had ever witnessed.

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Amendments After His Accident

The race resumed after a 40-minute red flag period to clear the track of debris and body parts, despite Russell Phillips’ tragic crash, with the track president, Humpy Wheeler, describing it as a “freak deal.”

NASCAR cars lacked the “Earnhardt bar” before 1996, which prevents fatal roof collapses in roof-first accidents.

Phillips’ roll bars did not prevent the roof from being sheared off by a caution light fixture as the car was dragged along the catch fence, causing fatal injuries and, ultimately, his death.

Russell Phillips
Tragic Accident and Death of Russell Phillips still scares many Car Racers (Source: TB98)

The fatality of Phillips sparked a significant discussion regarding the construction methods, inspection techniques, and roll cage design practices implemented in NASCAR’s Limited Sportsman Division.

Following Dale Earnhardt’s severe injury in a crash during the DieHard 500 at Talladega, the Earnhardt bar was mandated on all NASCAR vehicles in 1996.

After three fatalities in six years, including the death of Phillips, Charlotte Motor Speedway decided to withdraw from the Sportsman Division in 1996, with Phillips’ tragedy being the final incident that prompted their decision.

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