Dead in OffRoad Crash

Monday, August 16, 2010 - 7:31am

Truck slammed into spectators along race course.

Eight people are dead and a dozen more injured after an off-road race car lost control and crashed into the audience in the California desert.

Witnesses at Soggy Dry Lake in San Bernardino County say the horrific scene unfolded just 12 minutes after the start of the race known as the California 200.

A modified Ford Ranger was coming over a section of the track called the "Rock Pile" and slammed into the crowd.

The driver, 28-year old Brett Sloppy from San Marcos, was not hurt.

He has not been charged and the California Highway Patrol says alcohol is not a factor.

Reports say he ran from the crash scene when some people started throwing rocks at him.

On Sunday Sloppy posted a message on his Facebook page offering prayers for the victims and thanking his family and friends for standing by him.

Friends left messages of support, but others questioned the safety of the race.

The off-road vehicles can hit speeds of up to 100 miles an hour and race with no clearly marked barriers.

In this case spectators were just a few feet from the track.

"They didn't have it organized well enough," said one witness. "They need to have things roped off, people set further back. If people were 15 to 20 feet back they would have had another chance to get away."

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