The Bureau of Land Management is investigating a racing promotion company after eight onlookers died in a crash that took place during the California 200 off-road race this summer. In addition to those who lost their lives in the crash, ten others were injured when driver Brett Sloppy lost control of his tricked-out Ford Ranger pickup truck, flew in the air and rolled into the crowd of people.
In the safety rules set forth by Mojave Desert Racing of El Monte, the promoter of the race, spectators were supposed to be at least 100 feet away from the course. However, according to an article in the LA Times and supporting videos of the crash, viewers were just feet away from the speeding off-road vehicles.
The Bureau contracted with Mojave Desert Racing to have fans at least 50 feet away from racing vehicles, but that was also not adhered to, obviously. The federal agency says it had begun an "official national review" of the accident, along with current investigations by the California Highway Patrol and federal law enforcement.
There were no k-rails, fences or barriers set up between the drivers and the onlookers during the race. Although promoters seem to chalk up the crash to a risk of this type of extreme racing, people pay the price when safety rules are ignored. If you or someone you care about has been hurt at a public sporting event or organized race, call a personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal options for recovering damages that can pay for your medical bills, pain and suffering and more.