Fatal San Bernardino Off-Road Truck Accident Raises Safety Concerns

Eight people died and several others were injured in a San Bernardino off-road trucking accident, Aug. 14, 2010. What started out as a normal California off-road race quickly turned into a local tragedy.

The driver of the off-road truck was a participant in the California 200 race held in the Mojave Desert 100 miles northeast of Los Angeles. According to reports, the Prerunner was one of the first vehicles off the line. The driver reportedly lost control after completing a jump, rolling the truck into a crowd of spectators.

The truck crushed a group of spectators standing only 10 feet from the track; four were trapped beneath the overturned truck. Eight people were killed and 12 suffered injuries. The driver walked away uninjured.

People are wondering what went wrong. Sponsor of the event, Mojave Desert Racing, is facing fire, as people question why more safety precautions were not met. Apparently, there was no protective barrier between the crowd of spectators and the trucks involved in the race.

The California Highway Patrol (CHP) is investigating the crash. The federal Bureau of Land Management is also involved in the investigation and may bear responsibility.

According to reports, six people died at the scene and two more died in a nearby hospital. Rescue helicopters and vehicles did not arrive at the scene for nearly 30 minutes after the accident, due to the remote location, reports say. The crash occurred near Lucerne Valley.

This tragedy is not the first of its kind. CBS News reports that this fatal race accident is the latest in a series of similar accidents.

In February 2008, a car smashed into a group of people who were watching an illegal drag race in Accokeek, Maryland, CBS reports. Eight people were killed and five more were injured in this illegal race accident.

In June 2007, six people were killed and 22 more were injured when a drag racer spun out of control and crashed into a group of spectators at a fundraising event in Selmer, Tennessee.

The San Bernardino/Southern California injury lawyers at Aitken * Aitken * Cohn have experience handling these types of cases and have fought aggressively on behalf of individuals involved in similar incidents.

One case, in particular, involves a man named Jim MacLaren who was paralyzed after being hit by a van while participating in a triathlon June 1993. The triathlon was held in Mission Viejo, California. Two miles into the bike stretch, a traffic marshal directed a van to cross the street. Having misjudged our client’s speed, the van hit him, leaving him paralyzed. Our firm represented him in an injury case. He was awarded $3.78 million in damages.

In another case, we sued the United States government on behalf of a 4-year-old girl and her family. The child suffered a severe spinal cord injury after a federal employee ran a red light and collided with the vehicle in which she was riding. We represented the injured child and her family. They were awarded over $54 million in damages.

Aitken * Aitken * Cohn is committed to advocating for people and families affected by such tragedies. The attorneys at our firm are available to investigate lawsuits on behalf of injured persons and families whose loved ones were killed in the San Bernardino off-road crash and in similar accidents. For more information or to schedule a consultation with an experienced San Bernardino/Southern California off-road accident attorney, contact us today.