Fifth round of the 1996 Italian Rally Championship, the 24th edition of the Rally della Lana was valid also for the European Rally Championship. The event was marred by a fatal accident that resulted in the death of a spectator and five others injured.
The accident occurred around 23h30 on Friday, 19 July 1996, during the fifth special stage "Crosa" of the rally. The course of the stage passed between Strona and Mezzana Mortigliengo, north of the town of Biella, Italy. Running on slippery wet roads, the Toyota Celica GT-Four #7 driven by Carlo Zucchetti-Flavio Zanella went into a slide at the Bivio per Casapinta, a sharp crossing with a traffic island in the center in the small village of Crocemosso, and ran over a group of spectators standing on the other side of the traffic island.
One of them, Pietro Robotti, a fifty-nine-year-old retired teacher from Masserano, province of Biella, was killed at the scene, victim of multiple fractures, as well as cardiac and respiratory arrest. Three of the injured spectators were transferred to CTO Hospital in Turin: Paola Grosso, 48, suffered severe injuries and one of his feet had to be amputated; her husband Roberto Carion, 58, had a broken leg; and Maurizio Scovazzon, 32, who suffered a severed foot. Two other female spectators, Juliette Karina from France, 21, and Manuela Teco, 19, from Bioglio, were recovered at Biella hospital. Carlo Zucchetti, aged 30 from Novara and his co-driver Flavio Zanella, 37, escaped unhurt.
In consequence of the accident the competition was immediately stopped. As the rally was annulled before the 30% of the scheduled number of special stages, no championship points were awarded. Andrea Dallavilla-Danilo Fappani in another Toyota Celica GT-Four were leading the rally at the end of the fourth special stage.
European Rally Championship
Toyota Celica GTFour
Rally della Lana
Pietro Robotti (spectator);
Paola Grosso (spectator);
Roberto Carion (spectator);
Maurizio Scovazzon (spectator);
Juliette Karina (spectator);
Manuela Teco (spectator);
Corriere Della Sera;
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