08/16/2010 // WPB, FL, USA // Personal Injury Lawyers News // Nicole Howley
Lucerne Valley, CA (Personal Injury News)– A horrific accident at the annual California 200 left eight people dead and a dozen more injured when a truck lost control and rolled into the crowd. The fatal crash occurred on Saturday, August 14, 2010 at the stretch of track called the “rock pile,” as reported by Fox News.
Witnesses say the crowd of spectators ventured close to the track, so close that they could nearly touch the passing trucks as they raced down the track. The track, which stretched for nearly 50-miles, had tens of thousands of spectators watching the race from the sidelines when one truck reached the “rockpile,” and lost control. The “rockpile” is one of the most popular areas for spectators because the trucks become airborne.
The white modified Ford Ranger with “Misery Motorsports” painted on the door reportedly took a jump at high speed, when he hit his brakes as he landed, causing his truck to roll sideways into the crowd of spectators. One witness described the scene of “bodies sprawled on the ground in pools of blood.” Fans reportedly ran over and lifted the overturned truck, where they found four people lying unconscious underneath.
The driver of the truck, Brett M. Sloppy, 28, of San Marcos, was reportedly uninjured in the wreck. He was not under the influence of alcohol at the time. He had to be escorted from the scene under police protection because of the angry crowd, who began throwing rocks and other objects at him. The California Highway Patrol (CHP) estimated that he was traveling at around 45 to 50 mph at the time of the wreck. The CHP does not plan to arrest Sloppy.
It took rescue teams and helicopters over a half-hour to reach the remote race location, which was only accessible by a rutted dirt road. Off-duty firefighters in the crowd aided the paramedics hired by the race organizer in treating the injured and placing blankets over the deceased.
Six people were pronounced dead at the scene, while two others were rushed by helicopter to a hospital where they later died. The majority of the 12 people injured were airlifted to hospitals for treatment. Six people—five adults and a child—were taken to Loma Linda University Medical Center for treatment.
The deceased were identified as Brian Wolfin, 27, Anthony Sanchez, 23, and Aaron Farkas, 25, all of Escondido; Danica Frantzich, 20, of Las Vegas; Zachary Freeman, 24, of Fillmore, Calif.; Andrew Therrin, 22, of Riverside; and Dustin Malson, 24, of Ventura. The name of the eighth victim, a 34-year-old man from Spring Valley, had not been released by Sunday night.
Legal News Reporter: Nicole Howley-Legal news for California personal injury lawyers.