Tragic Off-Road Accident Kills Eight in Southern California
Recently, a popular Southern California off-road racing event, California 200, turned tragic when eight spectators died after a serious off-road accident. Since the race took place on federally owned land (operated by the Bureau of Land Management, or BLM), an official federal probe has been opened. The issue is whether the promoter of the California 200 off-road race violated rules that require fans to remain at least 100 feet away from the course.
The off-road accident killed eight spectators and seriously injured ten more when Brett Sloppy lost control of his modified Ford Ranger pickup following an airborne maneuver. Upon impact with the ground, the truck rolled into the crowd.
According to the LA Times, video of the race clearly shows fans standing within feet of the race along the track’s entirety. In the use of land contract with BLM, Mojave Desert Racing of El Monte (the promoter of the race) was to keep spectators 50 feet away from racing vehicles. The Times goes on to report that BLM has launched an official national review of the accident, including reviewing its own safety policies for such events held within its jurisdiction.
In an interview with the Times, Don Wall, President of Snore Racing in Las Vegas, said that allowing spectators so close to the race was akin to “letting your kid play on the freeway.” In his experience in promoting such races as the Battle of Primm in Nevada and the Midnight Special in Ridgecrest, his crew regularly puts up fences, posts “Do not enter” signs and sometimes even installs rails to keep spectators away from the course. None of these precautions was in place at the California 200.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a California off-road accident, contact the Law Offices of Samer Habbas. Our San Bernardino personal injury lawyers have the experience to help you recover your lost wages, medical expenses and other accident-related costs. Call 888-848-5084 to schedule a free consultation today.
LA Times: Federal agency to probe deadly accident at California 200
CNN: California Patrol: Driver in deadly race crash will not face charges