Driver who hit George Clooney claims he was ‘blinded by the sun’ as video emerges of moped collision

CCTV footage has emerged of the moment George Clooney was catapulted through the air after his moped collided with a car in Sardinia.

The Hollywood actor was lucky to escape with relatively minor leg injuries after smashing into the bonnet of a Mercedes estate car as he drove along a road on the island.

The star of Ocean’s Eleven and Monuments Men was heading to a film set when the oncoming car suddenly turned into his lane on Tuesday.

In security camera footage obtained by the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, Mr Clooney is seen being flung across the bonnet of the car as his moped was upended by the impact.

The force of the collision was so great that Mr Clooney’s helmet shattered the car’s windscreen. He was thrown sprawling to the ground.

“He was yelling and when a bodyguard took off his helmet it seemed that he couldn’t move his legs,” Gianni Visciano, a witness to the accident, told Corriere della Sera.

The driver said on Wednesday he was mortified at having injured one of Hollywood’s best loved stars, claiming he was blinded by the sun when he made the turn.

“I couldn’t see anything, I had the sun in my eyes,” said Antonello Viglino, 64, a plumber. “I was just starting to turn, I’d only gone a little way over the white line. I’m in shock. It all happened in an instant.

“I recognised him as soon as he took his helmet off. I tried to stay calm, I was worried that he had hurt himself really badly. I could never have imagined that I would have hit George Clooney.”

A moped that was travelling in front of Mr Clooney – believed to be driven by one of his bodyguards – managed to swerve and miss the car, but the actor collided head-on.

He was taken to the John Paul II Hospital in the nearby town of Olbia but was later discharged.

He suffered no broken bones but will need physiotherapy to his knee.

The 57-year-old was leaving a hotel in an area of Sardinia called the Costa Corallina – the Coral Coast – and was driving to the set of a new TV series based on the novel Catch 22 when the accident happened.

He has been in Sardinia for several weeks for filming the six-part series, based on Joseph Heller’s 1961 classic book about the USAAF during the Second World War.

Mr Clooney has a role in the series, as does Hugh Laurie and Oscar-nominated Italian actor Giancarlo Giannini.

Filming has taken place on a disused airfield at Venafiorita, near Olbia, which was used by the German military during the Second World War.

The series is due to be shown on Channel 4 next year.

Set in Italy during the Second World War, Catch 22 centres on the tortured predicament of the main protagonist, Capt John Yossarian.

The “catch” in Catch 22 is a USAAF rule that asserts that a crew member is considered mad if he keeps on flying dangerous combat missions, but that if he applies to be relieved of such duties, the very act of making the request proves that he is sane and therefore must stick with the job.

In the novel, Capt Yossarian and his bomber crew are stationed on the island of Pianosa, off the coast of Tuscany.

Mr Clooney has been staying in a gated rental villa at Puntaldia on Sardinia’s northeastern coast, reportedly with his wife, Amal, and their twins.

The couple married in Venice in 2014 and have a home on the shores of Lake Como in northern Italy.