Saturday, December 03, 2016

Mark Luhtala Dies from injuries sustained at the Baja 1000 2016

UPDATED! September 24, 2018
CLICK HERE! Luhtalas File Suit in the State of Nevada
against Roger Norman

UPDATE to December 23, 2016
See 11-25 Editorial below.
November 23, 2016 NEWS:
Mark Luhtala Dies from injuries sustained at the Baja 1000

Memorial Services Dec. 10, 2016


SCORE says nothing about Marks death, until TV News Report exposes SCORE medical emergency crisis!

Cutting back on all costs, costs lives. CLICK HERE

"He passed away this evening. Trusting he is in the arms of Jesus. We are all stunned".
Mark Luhtala Family member.

"He spent six hours in the desert with his navigator, Gregory Schief, who kept him from bleeding out until officials could rush him to a hospital in San Diego."

"It took over 6 hours to get these guys to the hospital, a wait that there's NO EXCUSE FOR!"

Holly Luhtala, Commenting on the SCORE Medical Emergency 'Response'.

"It is with a very heavy heart that I bring you this horrible information about Mark. Yesterday evening I received a phone call letting me know that the bruising to Marks heart proved to be too much for him. The hospital did everything they possibly could to try to save Mark, but unfortunately he went into cardiac arrest and they were unable to bring him back."

Jayson Strachan/Utah Off-Road Racing.

"I am at a loss for words with a broken heart right now. Last night we lost our friend Mark Luhtala. I had the privilege to race with him this year in the Baja 1000 and meet his amazing wife and daughter and join his race family. I have so many things to say but do not know where to start. Please take a second and send a prayer for his family. As the dust settles...My friend was turned on to desert racing from watching the Baja 1000 on ABC wide world of sports and was living his dreams. He was one of the most humble guys and always told me " Ahh, we are just a bunch of nobody's from Florida" I always replied " you have just as great of a chance at winning as the next guy"! Mark and his team of guys were bad asses! With a starting position of 18th he had moved up to 2nd position..Mark had proved he wasn't just a nobody, but somebody that was here to live out a dream!" Before the death..."As most of you know our team was involved in a terrible accident in the Baja 1000. An update on my buddy Mark..He had his left leg removed above the knee and as of now the rest of the surgery on left arm and right leg went well. My heart is broken for both families involved in this accident. Please pray for both racers and their families as this is a horrific accident that has affected so many!"
Fusion Off-Road F-Book.
Mark Luhtala from Utah Off-Road Racing f-Book posting

Many days after the fact, the racing sanction puts out a press release, only after a local TV station produces a piece and forces their hand on the death. CLICK HERE FOR THE GO FUND ME

"SCORE is extremely saddened to announce the death of SCORE racer Mark Luhtala as the result of a heart attack suffered on Wednesday (Nov. 23) while recovering from the amputation of a portion of his left leg at the University of California San Diego Medical Center (UCSD).Luhtala, 48, was injured in a racing accident early last Saturday morning during the SCORE Baja 1000. Luhtala, from Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., was severely injured when his Trophy Truck Spec race truck apparently collided head-on near Borrego with Class 1 competitor Cody Parkhouse.Luhtala and Parkhouse, 29, of Long Beach, Calif., were both transported to UCSD and Parkhouse remains in the UCSD ICU department in serious, but stable condition with considerable trauma injuries.Luhtala was a graduate of Southern Illinois University, was also an experienced pilot and owner/president of Luhtech Jet, a jet aircraft maintenance company based in West Palm Beach, Fla.All of us in the SCORE family send our sincere condolences and continuing thoughts and prayers to Luhtala’s two daughters (aged 12 and two) other close family members, his wife Holly and everyone impacted by this racing accident.The SCORE Nation also sends thoughts, prayers and well-wishes to the Parkhouse family during this time of critical need as well."


November 25, 2016 (11-25)
Gary Newsome, Publisher Editorial

SCORE Operations and the Failed SCORE Emergency Medical Response are to blame for unacceptable actions, delays and ongoing negligent race emergency response operations. 

This race incident is the glaring example the racing community never wanted to see happen!

The racing community on its own needs to choose. 

Does it want effective emergency response or is it happy seeing their own people die at every race?


Car Number 288 after a head-on collision with Number 127 causing all involved to request air lift out, SCORE responded by saying they have NO airlift capability at night, so they were ambulanced over 100 miles to a hospital, taking over 6 (six) hours to arrive at a hospital!

The Original Reporting

Race Driver Mark Luhtala

 Loses his Leg and endures other 

major injuries in Head-On collision in Baja 1000!

Reporters at the hospital and on-site getting the incident reports



"Ensenada- An accident with pressed people was registered at 4:51 hours, at kilometer 137 of the Ensenada-SanFelipe road, near the intersection of the road to Mikes Sky Ranch. Being severly injured, one apparently suffered an amputated leg, no names of the injured were reported, the victims were transferred to Ensenada. Apparently those involved are with vehicle number 127 is Cody Parkhouse, 30 years of age. Mark Luhtala, in truck number 288, 48 years of age."

Race vehicles #288 and #127 were involved in a severe medical incident (head-on collision), with another race car, on-site advisor requested air assets, all four (racer) occupants are injured. 

Incident started at 4:45 AM. The 288 was heading north on the dirt to a 90 degree right turn onto Highway 3 east. The speed zone starts when you hit the pavement. The 127 was heading west. The head-on collision occurred just after the 288 turned east onto the highway.

Just before the accident the #127 was traveling about 47 mph and about 1300 feet before the right turn onto highway 3, 288's tracker had him at 57mph. Cars came to rest about 1000 feet east of the intersection.

Incident site at Race Mile 598, San Matias on the highway.

In response, SCORE reported they, "DO NOT HAVE an air asset on standby for medical emergency night flight". SCORE continued, "we're working on it". 

For over an hour, the victims lay badly injured in the middle of nowhere. SCORE only said to "wait for the ambulances". The second ambulance got there, AN HOUR LATER. Cody Parkhouse one of the victims.

Only until, at 5:30 AM did SCORE finally admit, "drive them to San them to Ensenada".

[SCORE then ordered the race radio relay system pulled off the air] 

Incident follow-Up; November 19:

**One possible explanation, "Blinded by each others (running) lights, head-on". Only at the Baja races folks!

**Another explanation, race course design failure!  

**At 7:53AM Saturday morning, a chaser for one of the teams involved in the head-on calls in to weatherman for an update...Bad news, ambulanced to Ensenada. 

More follow-up, November 22:

**Per Facebook: "He (Mark Luhtala) was having the race of his life at the Baja 1000 running in 2nd place just after race mile 590 after starting 18th. Tragedy struck at approximately race mile 591 in a speed zone on the highway where the race course is going in both directions with a speed limit of 60 mph. I was chasing Mark with my pit support vehicle and was on scene only a couple of minutes after it happened. I did not see the crash. Mark suffered a crushed left leg broken above the knee, dislocated hip, multiple fractures in the left arm and collar bone, broken right leg, fractured C5. 

I frantically called for helicopters only to find out that they are not allowed to fly in Mexico at night until 7 AM. The accident occurred around4 AM and took over six hours to get Mark and the other driver to a hospital. Mark was in surgery all day Saturday and unfortunately he lost his left leg above the knee. The doctors were able to save his left arm and right leg, he should regain full function. Mark told me if it was not for the NecksGen head and neck restraint he would not be here. 

I guess it's time for me to get one. The other driver was getting ready to get out of his car for a driver change and did something that probably almost all of the drivers in off-road have done at one time or another and that is to loosen up your seatbelts and unhook. I am not sure of his condition I only know he is at the hospital. 

I was told the drivers name is Cody Parkhouse. Both navigators were able to walk away. This is such a tragedy for both driver's their families and teams, I ask if you could please click on their names and send them your prayers and thoughts and just let them know the racing world is pulling for them.Thank you and to the family's I only wish I could have done more."

**Per Holly Luhtala: "Mark has been having trouble with his breathing and is extremely uncomfortable due to all his broken bones. The impact was so great that his heart hit his sternum cracking it leaving his heart bruised with a hematoma which there's nothing they can do about. More surgery Wednesday to fuse his hip and possibly his left collar bone. 

Thank you so much to the LuhTech Motorsports Race Team for your love & support. I can honestly say that I love each and every single one of you that were here by our side before, during and after the race. Thank you first responders who tended to his injuries and saved his life out there in the cold dark of night in the desert."

"It took over 6 hours to get these guys to the hospital, a wait that there's NO EXCUSE FOR!"

"I never could have imagined the hollow, helpless feeling of hearing my husbands leg was severed and he was bleeding out then not knowing where they were taking him. I screamed literally through the streets of Mexico for someone to let me please see him of just let me know where he was. It was a living hell for those long hours waiting. Mark's passion for racing is a brand new world for me, after this horrible accident I now understand his love. The "Race Family" is a bond that I never knew existed until now. Never in a million years have I been shown such love & caring from so many strangers."

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