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Mojave crash: 8 die, lawmakers question off-road racing on public land


Posted on Aug 16, 2010

An an accident that killed eight spectators, California's U.S. senators are pressing for more details about Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) oversight of off-road racing on public lands.
 
The accident occurred at the California 200, an off-road race in Lucerne Valley about 100 miles east of Los Angeles, which took place on Saturday, August 14. Eight bystanders were crushed to death when a racer took a jump at high speed, and his truck flipped into the crowd. A dozen others were injured.
 
The race was held with the approval of the federal Bureau of Land Management, which owns the land used for the race. Safety at the race was the responsibility of the race organizer, Mojave Desert Racing. The permit issued by BLM required racers to travel at 15 mph or less when they were within 50 feet of fans. It also allowed no more than 300 spectators for the event; however, tens of thousands of spectators watched the race along the 50 mile track.  Many were within four feet of the speeding vehicles as they navigated through a series of jumps. The track had no guardrails.
I
t took rescue vehicles and helicopters more than half an hour to reach the scene of the accident. Six people died at the scene; two others died later. The 12 injured people were airlifted to nearby hospitals.
 
CHP and BLM are investigating the crash.

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