“He got airborne and, when he landed, rolled over straight into the spectators,’’ said Officer Joaquin Zubieta of the California Highway Patrol, the agency investigating the deadly crash. “People didn’t have much of a chance … to get out of the way.’’
Six spectators died at the scene. Nine others were airlifted to local hospitals, two of whom died later in the evening, Zubieta said.
No charges have been filed against the off-road racer, whose identity has not been released by authorities. The driver had to be escorted away from the area after the crowd “started to get rowdy. People were upset,’’ Zubieta said.
The ages of those killed ranged from early 20s to late 40s. The names were withheld pending positive identification and notification of family.
The 200-mile race, held on desolate Soggy Dry Lake on federal desert land just east of the San Bernardino Mountains, was sanctioned by Mojave Desert Racing and was part of a seven-race circuit. Off-roaders race around the 50-mile-long loop four times and hit speeds topping 60 mph.
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