A spectator involved in Kiwi Hayden Paddon's rally crash in Monte Carlo has died.

The Hyundai driver lost control on ice, and slid off the road and into a bank, where someone was standing.

There are conflicting reports about whether Paddon's car hit the spectator, or whether he fell from the steep bank into which the car crashed.

Live footage showed the spectator tumble down the bank and other spectators rush to check on the person.


Paddon and co-driver John Kennard were not injured.

A short time ago Hyundai Motorsport said via social media they would be withdrawing Paddon's car from the event, a tweet which Paddon shared with his followers.

In a statement Hayden Paddon RallySport Global Ltd said "we are deeply saddened to have just received the following statement from Rally Monte Carlo officials, plus the following statement from Hyundai Motorsport: It is with great sadness that the Automobile Club de Monaco confirms further details of the incident that occurred in SS1 with car #4 (Paddon/Kennard).

"A spectator was transported by helicopter from the stage to hospital in Nice. Despite the best efforts of the medical staff, the spectator has sadly died.

"The team has withdrawn car #4 from the rally as a mark of respect for the spectator who sadly passed away in the incident."

"An investigation has commenced into the incident and all involved parties will provide assistance to the authorities. Everyone associated with the event extends their deepest sympathies and condolences to the families, friends and individuals affected."

Paddon said he was "incredibly saddened by today's accident and my thoughts are with the family and friends of the person involved. It's difficult to say much more at the moment as we are in shock with what has happened. I'm sorry for the family, the fans and our sport."

Hayden Paddon RallySport Global Ltd said "this is an extremely sad end to a difficult day for Hayden and John. There will be no further comment from either of them at this time".

Following the crash the stage was cancelled by rally organisers. A second stage is set to get underway.

Conditions were treacherous in the hills, where the night-time stage was being held. Black ice featured prominently in 0 degrees C, making it difficult for drivers to judge grip levels.

Four-time world champion Sebastien Ogier and Paddon's Hyundai teammate Thierry Neuville had already completed the stage when Paddon had his crash. Both drivers spoke of difficult driving conditions.

Shortly after the crash, Paddon was seen on television coverage, frantically waving his hands. His car didn't appear too damaged and, in normal circumstances, they would have tried to get the Hyundai i20 back on its wheels to finish the stage.

It is the worst possible start to the new season for the World Rally Championship, which ushered in a new spec of cars and welcomed Citroen and Toyota back into the championship.

Monte Carlo is known as one of the more technical courses on the world rally circuit. Drivers may not be a top speed, but would still be grappling with more power through corners.