Spectator dies at World Rally Championship race in Monte Carlo

Hyundai Motorsport confirmed the death late last night

Hyundai Motorsport's Hayden Paddon and co-driver John Kennard driving in 2015.

Nigel French PA Archive/PA Images

A spectator has died after a car slid off the road due to black ice, during the Monte Carlo stage of the World Rally Championship (WRC). 

There are conflicting reports about whether the spectator was hit by the car after it left the road, or if they fell into a steep bank where the crash site was. The Southland Times reports that the spectator was taking photos in an area prohibited to the public, and is suspected to have suffered a heart attack.

The car contained Hyundai driver Hayden Paddon of New Zealand, and co-driver John Kennard. Neither are believed to have sustained injury as a result of the incident. 

Hyundai Motorsport confirmed the news late last night.

The stage was subsequently cancelled with a second stage set to take place. Monte Carlo is the first of 13 destinations on the WRC campaign, where it's understood that driving conditions in the hills were dangerous due to cold temperatures and black ice on the road.

On the back of the tragedy, Paddon has announced his decision to withdraw from the Monte Carlo rally.