Rolling with stunt woman Abby
NEVER has the phrase don’t try this at home, kids, been more appropriate. Just talking to stunt performer Abby Baker should come with a health warning.
Don’t be fooled by the pretty face and slight frame; this is a woman who taught herself how to crash cars by practising outside her home.
“I made my own little ramp out of railway sleepers and tyres and set it up at the bottom of my road,” she recalls.
She must’ve given the milkman a shock, sliding down the road in her first practice car, a red Citroen.
“It’s like a dead-end lane so it wasn’t like there was traffic everywhere,” laughs the 29-year-old, the only professional car crash stunt girl in Europe.
“It didn’t go too badly. I’d seen this stunt done loads of times and inquired about how to do it. I had a friend with me as well who’d done car crashes before; he gave me a few pointers and basically explained the technique and off I went. It was exhilarating.”
A born thrill-seeker, she’s been interested in stunts since she was six. Backpacking around Australia when she was 18, she decided to make stunt driving her career.
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“I heard about this guy who lived near me who’s got shows and does the same sort of thing and got a job with him just working on the gate. I managed to get myself into the show doing a few fire stunts, but I actually wanted to get into crashing cars, it’s sort of what I’m into.”
She discovered the guy doing them at the time wasn’t coming back the next year, which is when she set up the already mentioned practice ramp.
“When we went back for the next season I told the boss I’m the only one who knows how to do the car rollovers, so he gave me a job.”
If there’s an adrenaline rush to be had, Abby’s there. During her seven-year career, she’s ridden quad bikes through walls of fire, jumped them over seven cars and has even been put in a box which was then set alight; known as the exploding coffin in the trade.
Abby’s currently blowing audiences’ minds committing car carnage including rollovers, T-bones, barrel rolls and flying head-on crashes.
The latter sees her smash into the car she rolls in the first half of the show; ripping the roof off as she speeds straight through it before flying through the air, rolling and – if everything goes to plan – landing on all four wheels.
It’s a dangerous business; she’s dislocated a hip and broken a rib during her time. I have to ask, why do this to yourself, Abby?
“I’ve done, you know, pretty much most of the stunts in the show. It’s the adrenaline I get; I’m just like addicted to it and it’s better doing it than watching,” she laughs. “It’s so much fun; you feel alive if that makes sense.”
The rest of the Extreme Events Europe boys had better watch out, as Abby confides: “I wouldn’t mind getting into the monster trucks which might be on the cards at some point. I’d love to jump them over other cars.”