Two people have died at the gruelling Dakar Rally, which has claimed 59 lives to date. The dangerous and, at times, deadly rally has taken the lives of spectators, riders, drivers and navigators over the years.
Media reports indicate that two individuals were killed today as the Race2Recovery team‘s rally support vehicle, travelling in convoy, crashed head on with a local taxi near the Chilean border with Peru. Seven people were injured, of which three are part of the Land Rover sponsored Race2Recovery team. The taxi apparently drove straight into the rally vehicle, while a second taxi was flipped whilst attempting to avoid the collision. The driver and a passenger of the first taxi are said to have died in the accident.
Team leader Captain Tony Harris said: “Our hearts go out to the families and relatives of those who have died in this tragic accident and we offer them our condolences and sympathy.” He continued to say that the team had been struck by the friendliness of the Peruvian people during their time at the Rally, this being day 5 of the race.
Whilst local authorities have launched an investigation, the Race2Recovery team is pushing on and is still determined to finish the Dakar, albeit with two vehicles less than when they began. With a mechanical failure on Tuesday and a disqualification the day before, this has been a bad week for the team.
The three Race2Recovery members injured in the accident were Justin Birchall (40), former Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineer; Lee Twonsend, a Gulf War veteran and team mechanic; and Major John Winskill (42), the team’s logistics expert. All three are said to be in a stable condition, and are hospitalised in Lima.
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|Stage 5 Results (Overall Standing)|
|3||301||De Villiers (ZAF)