Tragedy struck the Dakar Rally twice, once during Stage 7 and again in road traffic.
On Saturday, the number 409 Mitsubishi Lancer of Lionel Baud struck a spectator approximately 51 miles into the special stage of Stage 7, per Motorsport.com.
Organizers released the following statement, as quoted on Motorsport.com:
[No. 409] hit a 63-year-old man who was isolated on the race course.
Once at the [accident] site, the medical service of the organisation unfortunately could only note the death of the injured person.
Alerted by the organisation, the Bolivian authorities represented by the prosecution, went to the site by helicopter of the organisation in order to determine the circumstances of the accident.
Reports suggest that the spectator was killed instantly when struck by Baud’s car.
A second fatal incident today involved an assistance vehicle that was initially believed to be towing the No. 409 Lancer to Buenos Aires back to Europe, but Marca clarifies was not.
[Warning: Images of fatal incident.]
According to Motorsport.com, the number 660 assistance vehicle for Baud’s team was involved in a collision in street traffic in Córdoba, Argentina, where one died and five others were injured. Marca reports that a total of two trucks and four cars were involved in the collision, including the No. 409, as translated from Spanish with help from Google Translate:
Two trucks and four cars were involved in the accident, including the Mitsubishi of Baud and [codriver] Thierry Dezeiraud of the ProMan Desert One team, which ended in a ditch. “The large vehicle, carrying various products such as shoes and detergent, after the crash, lost control, collided head on with the assistance truck and rolled into a Peugeot 505. The [Peugeot driver], who was literally crushed, died instantly,” [reports] the local site Cadena 3.
In addition to the two trucks, Baud’s Mitsubishi and the Peugeot 505, a Ford Falcon, Ford Fiesta Kinetic and Toyota Corolla were also involved [in the accident]. The police confirmed that the deceased is a man who lives in the Córdoban region of Juárez Celman, but would not release his name. In addition to the deceased, two others were seriously injured and taken to the Emergency Hospital in the city of Córdoba.
According to Motorsport.com, this is the fourth time a fatal accident has occurred in road traffic since the Dakar Rally moved to South America in 2009. Earlier in this year’s rally, eleven spectators were injured when a car lost control during the rally’s prologue stage.
Photo credit: AP Images
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