Dakar Rally Confirms First Spectator Death Since 2013

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During stage 7 of the Dakar Rally this past weekend, a spectator was killed for the first time since 2013. Dakar organizers confirmed the 63-year-old man’s death, which occurred at kilometer 82 and involved French driver Lionel Baud’s Mitsubishi Lancer.

The statement released by the organization claimed that the man was isolated on the race course. “Once at the [accident] site, the medical service of the organization unfortunately could only note the death of the injured person.”

While this is the first spectator fatality to take place at the infamous desert rally in three years, last year Polish motorcyclist Michal Hernik died during the race. The last fatal accident involving spectators happened when a support vehicle crashed into two taxis in Peru, killing two onlookers. This year’s prologue stage saw spectators injured, with one left in critical condition after being hit by Chinese driver Guo Meiling.

During Stage 7 of the Dakar Rally, Baud, who was running in 52nd position, collided with the spectator. The seventh leg of the race spans from Uyuni, Bolivia, to Salta, Argentina. All reports indicate that the man was killed on impact, and the Bolivian authorities oversaw the incident to determine the cause.

Source: Motorsport.com