Tragedy struck Sunday's Brands Hatch round of the British Superbike championship when a terrifying accident in the supporting Superstock Cup race claimed the life of one competitor and seriously injured several others.

While the two BSB races had passed without problem, the weather had been getting worse and - with extremely heavy rain falling by the time the Superstock riders took to the track - rider visibility was reduced to just a few feet.

The disaster occurred on the opening lap when one of the Superstock front runners lost control of his machine at Pilgrims Drop, the fastest part of the Brands GP circuit, causing a chain reaction that will never be forgotten.

Through the mist all that could be seen were bike components flying through the air as more and more riders piled into the scene of devastation. The race, and meeting, was immediately called off.

Five competitors were seriously hurt, with emergency trauma surgery necessary at trackside to try and stabilise several of the most badly injured before they could be air lifted to hospital. Those five riders were Darren Mitchell, Jamie Morley, Mark Heckles, Dean Johnson and Paul Mooijman.

Tragically, Darren Mitchell lost his fight for life later that evening in Maidstone hospital. His untimely death is the greatest tragedy, and on behalf of everyone from and all those present in the press office at Brands Hatch we offer our most sincere and heartfelt condolences to the Mitchell family and friends.

Jamie Morley was very seriously injured, also needing a great deal of medical attention trackside before he could be air lifted to hospital. His family have asked that his injuries are not disclosed, but they are thought to be severe and as such Jamie's progress is in the minds off all those who were present on Sunday.

Mark Heckles and Dean Johnson both sustained broken legs, whilst Paul Mooijman was kept in hospital overnight for observation after receiving minor head injuries in the accident. Their injuries are not thought to be life threatening and all three are expected to make a full recovery.