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Dakar 2023 announces spectator death

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Dakar 2023 announces spectator death

F1lead extends its condolences to the spectator’s family and friends.

Stage #9 of the Dakar Rally was overshadowed by tragedy when a spectator died of injuries sustained in an accident. Race overseer Amaury Sport Organisation confirmed the news following the stage on Tuesday.

Further details were not immediately disclosed, though a video purportedly of the accident shows the truck of Aleš Loprais hitting a fan while clearing a small dune to navigate a right turn. The man is seen getting up before falling down as others attend to him.

“A spectator of Italian origin who was behind a dune had an accident on the rally course,” reads a statement from the ASO. “He was evacuated by helicopter for medical assistance but unfortunately died during the transfer.”

The accident marked the fifth death at Dakar since its move to Saudi Arabia in 2020, with at least one having occurred every year. Competitors Paulo Gonçalves (cardiac arrest) and Edwin Straver (neck injuries sustained in a crash) died in 2020, followed by Pierre Cherpin for head trauma following a wreck in 2021. Last year, Dakar Classic mechanic Quentin Lavallée was killed in an accident during the liaison phase on the final day of the race.

76 in total are known to have died in various incidents since the Dakar Rally’s inaugural edition in 1979. Race founder Thierry Sabine passed away in a helicopter crash during the 1986 race.

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Dakar leader leaves rally after fatal accident

In a statement on Facebook, Loprais reveals that he will no longer participate in the 2022 Dakar Rally. The driver himself had not noticed anything about the incident with the spectator and continued his way. On Tuesday evening, he was informed by the stewards.

The incident took place in the dunes. Loprais’ truck drove over a dune, which the spectator was hidden behind to take photos. As a result, the Czech did not see the man. In his statement, the Dakar driver says the spectator was still able to get up after the collision, but became unwell a few hours later and was taken to hospital. The 69-year-old man eventually died of a heart attack during the ambulance drive.

“I would like to express my sincere condolences to his family and friends. I am very sorry, and this accident will be with me for the rest of my life”, Loprais says in the video.

Read Also : Dakar 2022 – Al-Attiyah clinches fourth dakar title

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