THE KING OF BAJA Gary Newsome, Publisher. Offices 23090 Ave. Cardon, Ensenada MX

Thursday, September 15, 2011

BULLETIN! Sloppy's Double Secret Death F*** CHP TO RELEASE REPORT! Desert Off-Road Race Disaster, 8 KILLED "Blood and Bodies Everywhere"

FINAL UPDATE: December 20, 2013

[The Drivers family, Sloppy of California, continues to sue everyone.] 

Bill Montoy from Parker AZ, 
Gets It Right; Reaction to the Settlement

""Well I've been watching the madness on this thread since yesterday and found it hard to ignore some of (most of them) the uniformed post. Let me start by saying that I feel really bad for all the familys of the deceased and the injured. For anybody to say "it makes me sick" or "they are a bunch of bottom feeders" or " free food line" you are very mistaken and what gives you the right to judge another person like that. I have gotten to know a couple of the parents that lost their children and let me say they are not bottom feeders and probably pay more in taxes then most of you make. So I wouldn't call them bottom feeders. I have also learned a lot about the lawsuit since getting to know these people. The facts are that MDR and BLM were extremely negligent in letting this crash happen (notice I don't use the word accident, because accidents cant be prevented, crashes can). Did you know that the 1 BLM ranger (there was supposed to be 6 or 7)was at the crash site an hour before the race started? And that same guy admitting seeing that there were no fences and the crowd was too close to the race course. Did you know that he did nothing to help with the situation? don't you think he could of got on his loud speaker and told the people they were too close to the race course and the race could not start until they move. You know what, every body would of moved so the race could start if he would of just said something. Did you know that the 1 ranger left the rock-pile and drove straight to the start line (50 minutes before start of the race) and do you know that he said NOTHING to MDR that he could not start the race until the crowd was moved back. THAT MY FRIEND IS CALLED NEGLIGENCE. and is the basis of the case. This guy had the responsibility to monitor the safety of the race and for the safety of the crowd and to make sure that ALL procedures set for the in the permit are ALL followed.
Did you know that there was no ambulance on site as the permit required. The reason this is important is because the helicopters could not be dispatched until someone with authority was there to dispatch them. That delayed the dispatch of the helicopters by 45 minutes and that 45 minutes could of possibly saved some lives (ever heard of the golden hour).? The helicopters were running and ready to fly but couldn't until they were dispatched. Is that the spectators fault?
The federal government has immunity from lawsuits in most cases. It dates back hundreds of years ago to the King and Queen days in America. (You can't sue the King). Well this case went in front of the most conservative judge the government could find and even this judge could not rule for the government after seeing all the negligence this ranger had committed. They tried to hide behind the discretionary decision immunity law and since this ranger did NOTHING to eliminate the hazard it means he made NO decision which opened the government up to liability. MDR was found to be mainly at fault and had settled more than a year ago.
Some of you* have tried to blame this on the spectators. Now you know those people just stood where everybody else was standing. If there was sufficient fencing and signage that had been done in previous years, all this would be is a simple roll over crash with nobody hurt. You cant possibly blame those deceased and injured for this crash.
Remember these people that were killed and injured are your friends and you were standing next to them at various races. They were not drunken idiots like some of you have said. They were not trying to reach out and touch the cars and trucks while they were racing. You* know that.
Did you also know that the driver is suing MDR and the government? Now that is a frivolous lawsuit if I've ever seen one. If you* are bashing the family's that lost their children, what about the driver that is suing MDR and Feds? Why are you not saying anything about that lawsuit? I know why, Its the PACK mentality I see from others* [by the desert racing community].

I know you guys* will post all kind of negative post but I really don't care because most of you are uniformed and know nothing about the case and what came out in the case. All you want to do is blast anybody for anything. I've seen it for years on this site.

Good Luck and see you in the desert in AZ."" 

Editors Notes: 

*The desert racing community itself is the perp and victim of these events. The land where this event happened, is no longer open for desert racing. The "victims" in the legal case, were all members of the desert racing community. They were not outsiders. It was the friends, brothers, sisters and known team members of its own community.

*The "DRC" mentioned in Bills comment is the 'desert racing community'. 

Gary Newsome, Editor
Baja Racing News LIVE!

UPDATED! December 18, 2013


Lawyer: $5.8M settlement in off-road race crash

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — An agreement has been reached to pay $5.8 million to the families of eight people killed and 12 injured in a desert off-road race crash in 2010 on federally owned land in California, a lawyer said Wednesday.
Attorney Katherine Harvey-Lee, who represents three injured spectators and the father of one person killed, said the deal was reached in mediation on Tuesday.
The crash occurred when a truck competing in the California 200 race sailed off a jump and slammed into the crowd in the Mojave Desert.
The agreement aims to settle lawsuits filed on behalf of victims alleging the race was negligently managed and supervised. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management would pay $4.825 million and race organizers and promoters Mojave Desert Racing Inc., and Mojave Desert Racing Productions Inc., would provide their $1 million insurance policy limit, she said.
An internal review in 2010 by the BLM, which owns the land 100 miles northeast of Los Angeles, concluded the agency failed to adequately monitor the race or properly follow procedures in granting permits to race promoters.
The review found that the race sponsor expected 200 to 300 people at the event, but at least 1,500 people attended.
"When you get a lot of people out in the desert and you have vehicles operating in these races, it just makes sense that there should be some supervision to make sure people don't get hurt," Harvey-Lee said.
The agreement still must be approved by the Department of Justice and by a judge, she said.
Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office in Los Angeles, declined to comment on the agreement. Dave Christy, a spokesman for the Bureau of Land Management, also declined comment.
After the incident, the BLM said it began applying higher standards to issue permits for off-road races.
A message left for lawyers representing Mojave Desert Racing was not immediately returned.
The August 2010 event was part of a seven-race series in the California desert. Dozens of competitors entered to race their trucks along a 50-mile course.

UPDATE: August 27, 2013

August 27, 2013

Todd 'Nikal' Cunningham of El Cajon California comments:

""you asked for someone to tell all the family's who had some die , that their loved one deserved it. OK I will! I have no problem letting those families know how selfish their loved one was for choosing to stand on a live race course and get killed. I don't feel for the dumb azz that stood on the course and died. I feel for the ones they left behind. The children who are growing up without a parent because their parent did not use good judgement.

To those, I'm sorry for you loss. But please understand, your loved one was a dumb azz and got what they were asking for. Do these sayings sound firmilar? Don't play with fire as you might get burned. Don't play with Guns as someone could get shot. Don't play in traffic as you could get hit. "Don't stand on a race course, or you might get hit & die!

UPDATE July 5, 2013

click here for off-road live! update

UPDATE May 10, 2013

Adam From Clean Dezert Comments:

 ""my name was thrown into this, so i will comment based on what i know to maybe help relieve some of this crap.

I am a 1450 racer years before the accident and still now years after, i was at the accident directly across from where sloppy rolled, I put up fencing years prior, i talked to patricia multiple times regarding fencing. i get grouped with the dumb drunk racers 1450 racers/spectators... yet i have never drank a day in my life.

The blame needs to be put on the people who deserve it. Patricia was asked 2 years prior to this to put up fencing and was told they had no resources or money to do so. I asked what if she charged everyone $5 more to cover it, she said she has no resources. The snow fencing and time to put it up was ALL donatated by 1450 racers... So while you think they are a bunch of bro retards, they are also concerned about thier safety and the safety of the people spectating. I feel MDR was circuling the toliet and about to be flushed anyways... they were holding on to this one last big race that brought out big crowds and a ton of racers. Rest of the series was dead.

Now for the spectators, it was thier responsability to stand away from the course. i was there shoulder to shoulder with everyone else, i knew the risk we were taking, we even joked about it prior to the race... Everyone needs to take on more personal responsability... If i was a part of the accident it would of been MY fault, not sloppys fault, and not completely MDR fault.

So for anyone trying to put blame on just 1 group of people is retarded.

Comment to by bighad:
""wowza...almost 3 years..damn....still same fight...really????
How is your lawsuit going Travis? How is your wife's lawsuit? Any chance of you dropping the lawsuits and taking responsibility for your own actions of standing too close to an open race course?""

Re: MDR update

jeff my boy..nice of you to chime in...its moving along..the best i could wish is to never be in one brutha! tell you what..line up the interview whereas Brett Sloppy..not slopey..but sloppy..wants to get on camera and say how he knew all those people were there..cause he he lost cotrol of his truck,,,cause he did..that his race was the single most important aspect of his life..even at the cost of others lives..and how his truck ended up off the race course as you say...and he..through his decisions..killed 8 people..then get MDR to say how they knew those people were there..but they were for profit..and would cost them money to do something about it was profitable to deny any obligation to their paid race teams or their spectators...and get the BLm to say how the year prior they had sheriffs out there..and yet on that night they gave a permit and failed to do their job..yet its "different' when they write tickets..because after all..its about safety..and once you line all that up..I'll say...geeze..its none of their faults..nope..its all to blame on me...Im in dude..cause as it stands..not one of them will say anything! Oh you all do...blame the dead..disrespect their families...and then..after that..we can look at the lawsuits and see who..if anyone...has a lawsuit against who! It must be nice to be on the outside looking in...unaffected yet with so much BS to sure got a lot to say to me on the net dude..yet when I asked to share time with you one on one at said..."Its a big desert"..and told me to pound sand.....go watch TV dude..your next opinion will be shared tonight...hey..did you know they are trying to take guns away from us..just saying..oh..and Jv is in danger of being is Oceano dunes..and green sticker funds are being raped for the general fund..did you know any of that? Focus on your sport..not me dude...wake up..and if you do...well..guess we'll meet then after all...I am there...
UPDATED September 14, 2011



UPDATE! September 14, 2011

Gary Newsome, Editor

Brett Sloppy tries to pawn off fake sympathy and "the wheel came out of my hands", Bullshit. He said, "My friends took me away from the accident scene". Yes, to save his life after his truck killed eight innocent people and injure many more.
His mother, "I had to walk over bodies to get to my son". Sure, its all about Brett. Help him. Too bad he can't drive. "Took off his racing suit" to cover up the truth, his son killed those people. Otherwise desert off-road in California wouldn't be half dead.
LOS ANGELES (CBS) — ""Brett Sloppy has spent the better part of a year wondering what went wrong.
Almost a year ago, his life behind the wheel of a car took a dramatic turn. After an off-road racing tragedy in which eight spectators were killed and 12 more injured, the deaths touched off investigations, inquiries, calls for changes in the sport of off-road racing.
Many questions, few answers.
Sloppy (pronounced Slop-peed) remained silent. Until now.

(Credit: CBS)
He sat down recently with CBS2′s Pat Harvey to discuss the horrible accident, his life since, and how he puts the pieces of that tragic day in the Mojave dessert behind him.
Or even if that is possible.
Sloppy had been gearing up for the “California 200,” a 200-mile race on a 50-mile course.
He’d been preparing to compete for nearly his entire life. He told Pat Harvey that while he hoped to win, he really just wanted to finish.
He couldn’t have possibly planned mentally for the horror that lay ahead. Sloppy does recall, seeing the spectators and believing many of them were too close to the action.
After getting out of his crashed and overturned vehicle he gasped. “That was the worst visual, worst sight of my life.”
Brett’s mother also recalled the horror. “Everybody was screaming. The screams were blood curdling screams. I had to walk over bodies to get to him.”
Sloppy, currently facing three separate lawsuits for allegedly driving recklessly, is ready to break his silence. “I didn’t want to hide,” he says, “I wanted to get out and say my apologies and talk to these family members.”"


Update: June 9, 2011
The Driver of the Misery Motorsports truck that killed 8 and injured many more, last year, at the California 200, is SECRETLY being given the star treatment to race this morning at the MORE 500.

[[UPDATE! Sunday May 22. Sloppy and "his team" raced without meeting the normal race requirements and reportedly ran the race course, while not being signed up for the event.]]

The same racing team that got the California director of the CF Foundation fired for a fraudulent racing promotion and is allowing Brett Sloppy to race today said this yesterday:

"We have come to agreement with MORE, Please come out to the race and support MORE and dezert racing. That is all that will be said until after the race."

One of the supporters said this in response:

"First off BRETT did nothing wrong( IT WAS A ACCIDENT)second this should have been TOP SECRET, if the media get a hold of this were screwed. Pull this post ASAP there are people just looking for this kind of thing. Brett just use a fake name,we all stand behind you."

Doug Wasser said this about the Crisis in racing since last years "Sanctioned Slaughter" Sloppy caused at the California 200:

"Keep in mind that that the BLM has over $250,000,000.00 in law suits against them from the Cal 200 accident. A letter was also sent from Washington to all the feild offices telling them that the person that signs the permit is personally responsible for anything that happens. Some of the law suits filed named indiviual BLM employees. In other words people are going after more then just the BLM. Would you sign a permit without feeling supported by the entire off road community if it ment you might lose everything you personally owned?"

An insider with MORE said last month to a reporter from Baja Racing "That driver (Sloppy) f***ed up, he was out of control, driving over the legal speed limit and he should have been strung-up!" "Now, the BLM and everyone else will kill off-road racing in California".

What's the 'Double Secret' you ask?

Sloppy raced with (the same team) at the recent SoCal 250, but did not notify the racing organization, SNORE, of Sloppy's participation. A violation of the racing rules and the permit SNORE has with the Bureau of Land Management.


Brett Sloppy BANNED from MORE 500!

"Inside source at MORE Racing Organization sez: Brett Sloppy is not wanted at this weekends MORE 500". "The CHP Report has not been released and until it's made public, Brett Sloppy could be made responsible for the incident at last years California 200, Killing 8 and injuring many more".

Brett Sloppy continues to be in hiding, avoiding public events, like this past weekends SoCal 250. He was slated to race and pulled out at the last minute. Then this week a crap-load racing ass, 'announced' Sloppy would race with them at this weekends MORE 500. The race sanctioning organization met informally and decided it was not in the best interest of the sport to have such a loaded racer at their event, prior to the CHP report being made public.

BREAKING NOW...The racing team wanting to have Sloppy drive for them at this weekends race just emitted this, "We just found out that Brett Sloppy will not be allowed to race this weekend due to MORE's insurance and the BLM not letting him. This is not a decision that MORE made. We hope that Brett can get behind the wheel and drive for us soon. Free Sloppy!"

It's now known that Sloppy's truck, the one that killed 8 and injured many more is not being permitted to enter any desert off-road races. The BLM claims late today, it in no-way caused the racing organization to NOT include Brett Sloppy from driving in this weekends MORE 500. The selfish move by this mindless racing team has caused problems not just for itself, but also many others.

It's also known that the team that tried this insane publicity stunt, only to have backfire big time back in their face, have lost sponsorship deals because of the attempted stunt. The stunt? To have a desert racing driver, under the scrutiny of the BLM, CHP and over 12 lawsuits addressing claims that his conduct caused the deaths of 8 and injured many more, race for them in this weekends MORE 500. END REPORT

A brief Editorial on the authorities
Gary Newsome

California Highway Patrol

MORE Racing

UPDATE: April 19, 2011 "Friend" of Sloppy Reports: "Broken Steering" caused crash!

A close friend
""Actually, there is nothing wrong with his driving and I personally would get in the passenger seat with him any day on or off road. His steering broke, which cause(d) the accident. When you love and have spent so much time in the desert like we do then it's hard to stay away. Sloppy spent a majority of his life working and building that truck and being in the desert. How could you ask someone to give up something they love?
Families have forgiven him and the desert community completely supports him. I think it takes a strong person to not give up on something they love after a tragic event like that. Aaron Farkas was at the race to support Sloppy and would have wanted him to get back in the desert and in his truck.
Love you Sloppy""


Baja Racing has learned the CHP (California Highway Patrol) is about to release its report on the worst Off-Road Race Disaster in History! The desert racer who caused all the mayhem has signed up to race in an event on May 14.

According to a source inside the California Highway Patrol, the CHP investigation report on the Sanctioned Slaughter has been completed and is now being reviewed by authorities inside the department. Considering its importance, the review process could take some time. Possibly more than the two weeks noted by our inside source at the CHP.

As noted, the information could be available to federal and local prosecutors as early as mid-April, long before the May 14th race date Sloppy is signed up for. To prosecute Sloppy, MDR (Mojave Desert Racing), the racing organization that put on the Sanctioned Slaughter and anyone else, prosecutors need the report.

According to a source at the CHP headquarters in Sacramento, these internal reviews could take years. To get the report "right". Meaning, if there are charges, the allegations and conclusions in the departments work product, the "report" needs to hold up in court. Thus, the review process. To make sure it will hold up in court.

After months of investigating the worst loss of life in an off-road racing event ever and deaths under the sanction of an authorized racing organization in the State of California on Federal Lands, with the authority of the Federal land czar, the BLM, Bureau of Land Management.

The entire desert racing community is now at risk with civil suits lining up against the driver of the truck, the racing organizer and soon against the BLM.

And what about Brett Sloppy racing on May 14 at Plaster City? With the same truck that killed 8 people?!

STAY TUNED, Baja Racing is investigating.

Gary Newsome

California 200 Disaster, Sanctioned Slaughter!
UPDATED January 31, 2011

The Greatest Loss Of Life at Any Off-Road Race, Ever


Pictured: Brett Sloppy, His Truck Killed Eight People and Injured More.
He was at the wheel as his truck careened into a crowd of fans

Public Comment the night of the slaughter,
8-15-2010, 12:30 AM Pacific Time:

"i wont say who went over. but i will say what happened as i have bein told. truck had to punch brakes because slow truck was in the way. rolled into the crowd and hit a good deal of people."
Location: rsm california
smitty_runner (supersmitty6)

Can you say Involuntary Manslaughter?


Brett Sloppy claims he will race his DEATH TRUCK at the newly announced "SNORE 250" in May. Here is his pronouncement from a crackhead message board:

"just got back from a meeting with my attorney and he's gonna try and make it to where i can work on and use my truck within the next month or so ...soo if it happens i will be racing this ............. YES ........"

NEW UPDATE! February 18:



Mom sues off-road driver in fatal Calif. crash

The Associated Press
Updated: 01/03/2011 09:45:42 PM PST

LOS ANGELES—The mother of one of eight spectators killed in a fiery off road vehicle crash in the Mojave Desert last summer has sued the driver and the event's promoter, accusing them of negligence.
Doris Levinson filed the wrongful death lawsuit last week in Los Angeles County Superior Court against driver Brett M. Sloppy and South El Monte-based MDR Productions, which operates as Mojave Desert Racing.
Sloppy's truck plowed into a crowd of spectators during the California 200 race on Aug. 14, landing on its roof. Levinson's 22-year-old son, Andrew Therrien, pushed his daughter out of the way, but he was struck and later died.
Numerous others, including Therrien's daughter, were injured.
A woman answering the phone at MDR Productions said Monday night that the company had no comment on the lawsuit.
The suit accuses Sloppy of driving recklessly at the Johnson Valley off-highway vehicle area and alleges that MDR failed to take adequate safety precautions for spectators.
A permit issued for the race by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management showed spectator safety was the responsibility of MDR, whose own rules require fans to stay 100 feet away from the course.
The suit said MDR did not adequately staff the event, and did not monitor the crowd to ensure compliance with its 100-feet rule. It also did not take steps, such as erecting a temporary fence, to ensure spectator safety or post signs about the risks, the suit said.

Baja Racing is following this story, STAY TUNED

In an internal review released in November, the BLM said its staff failed to properly monitor and prepare for the 200-mile race.
Only one ranger was working in the 500,000-acre area on the day of the crash, and it was for routine patrol, not race monitoring, the review said. The ranger had visited only a portion of the course before the event.
The suit said the BLM will also be sued.""

Victims Family Greg Farkus replies to the Crackheads:

"Don't blame the spectators they were supposed to be protected that is why they require 6 months to come up with a plan to control the crowd. But BLM and MDR's "good buddy network" took presedence over spectator safety. Again $8.00 buys 1000 feet of caution tape
You (crackheads) need to open your eyes and actually think about what happened and quit bad mouthing somebody that is trying to recover for her loss and to help raise this little girl for 20 more years at least. Quit **** talking and put the blame where it belongs"

Kris Hernandez speaks for the crackheads in response:

"I think I am going to sue for having to witness it first hand right in front of me. (joke) I ran so many scenarios thorugh my head for quite some time after watching people get pummled and hearing bones and bodies breaking had it been one of my freinds or family and what I would do...suing somebody was not on the checklist. Asking some questions about the actions and 100ft prior to roll over was definitely at the top of the list...especially considering I said them aloud to myself on camera as I watched it all go down.

It seems every year after the MDR nightrace I say on here someday it is going to end like this past one...

I used to be guilty of breaking the 50 ft rule until my foot got run over by a 1 car taking an alternate line and coming right at me down the pole line in san felipe several years back."

Kris Hernandez     401 W. 3rd St     San Dimas, CA 91773     US     +1.6268337608

Pictured, Crackhead Kyle Callen
Kyle Callen, speaks for the desert racing crackheads in response: ""Not knowing much either (about the law) but I would think they would take a look at Brett and relize they arent going to get anything out of him then they turn to mdr and suck there(sp) insurance dry. With BLM admitting fault I would think thats who you would go after. I couldnt imagine losing a child but I do hope she loses and its quick and quiet!""

Another Sloppy supporter, dipshit crackhead Evan Serling of 4130: "How is she going after Sloppy and MDR but not the BLM? Isn't it a tad bit negligent on their behalf as well for only managing to have one of their rangers show up for work on race day???"

Here's what they have to say backing up Sloppy: Photo and Text supporting (as of today 12-29-2010) Sloppy as a "team member". A team member who killed 8 people and injured more

""Misery Motorsports – Sloppy

Sloppy stepped on board the 4130 team of drivers just a couple weeks before the 2008 Tuff Trucks event in Del Mar, California. With him and his team all geared up with some new 4130 threads, Sloppy hit the track hard and slammed the competition taking the win over 11 other competitors. That definitely sealed the deal between Sloppy and 4130. We plan on keeping him on board and supporting his racing career for many seasons to come!
Sloppy plans on entering as many American based races as possible to gain valuable seat time and his goal is to eventually race the SCORE series of races south of the border down in Baja, Mexico. On top of that, his Ranger is also his daily driver. You can catch him 3 wheeling around corners all over north county San Diego repping 4130 all the way on the driver and passenger doors.
Sloppy has fabricated and built every single piece on the truck himself. He knows the vehicle like the back of his hand and it really helps spread the word of Misery Motorsports, his fabrication company. It’s an ever evolving project for him and you will see it go through many changes as time passes. Each tear down and rebuild brings the truck back to life stronger and better than before.
We’re glad to have Sloppy on board with 4130. He’s a great guy in person both on and off the track and is a perfect spokesperson for the 4130 brand. He wears it with pride because it truly represents the life style he lives on a day to day basis and we are stoked to have him on board with the 4130 team of drivers.""
Gary Newsome Editorial Comment: Whoever is going to sue Sloppy over his involuntary manslaughter and other civil matters, should go here and sue these idiots also. Felony Stupid.

Final Verdict Before The CHP Report is Released
By: Gary Newsome Editor, Baja Racing

The Bottom Line:

Sloppy is one-third responsible for what happened in the "Sanctioned Slaughter". His truck killed eight people. EVERYONE associated with Sloppy and Misery Motorsports, including his family and the sponsors SHOULD PAY.

Fortunate for the Sloppy racer the race was in the desert, no trees, Sloppy is lucky he wasn't 'strung-up' right after the slaughter.

Andy McMillin and other desert off-road racers have stated in public, they support Sloppy "110%", it could have happened to anyone of them (desert racers).

Many desert "insiders" have said they side with the victims. And the "crackheads" have sent death threats and vulgar public and private comments to them, in response. Any accountability?

The BLM is one-third responsible for what happened. No questions here.

MDR Racing is one-third responsible, because they were responsible for all "safety" at the event, by contract with the BLM. Period.

Everyone knew about the 'rockpile'. Yet, NO-ONE did anything about it. And those of you who were there at the very moment of the slaughter and KNEW it was unsafe and DID NOTHING AND ARE STILL BREATHING AIR, please, dedicate yourselves to go to EVERY race you can, put on an orange safety vest and GET TO WORK!

Now, lets see some shoveling of serious money over to the victims families and lets get on with racing and supporting racing for 2011.


How reliable is Baja Racing on this story?

From a message board that many witnessed the horror:

From TacomaWorld at the time:

Robert RZRob Said today:
"This link pretty much encapsulates what I saw I couldn't sleep last night. I just kept thinking how may people's lives are changed forever in the blink of a moment." RZ Rob

After this post, the site "TacomaWorld" closed down all pictures and comments related to the incident, to cover-up the facts of what happened.

""An investigation into the worst off-road racing accident in history.
THE EARTH FILLED THE SKY. In the Mojave Desert on Aug. 14, 2010, at approximately 7:45 on an otherwise unremarkable, hot summer evening 100 miles northeast of LA, seven men, ranging in age from 22 to 34, and one woman, 20, were standing among a crowd of spectators several feet from an off-road dirt track watching racers zip by. Without warning, a 5,000-pound truck tumbled off the course in a fury of dust and plowed into them, killing all eight. They were fathers, sons and a daughter, financial advisers, laborers and technicians, sales clerks and pizza delivery men. Their deaths amounted to the worst off-road racing accident in the history of the sport.

The truck's driver, Brett Sloppy, 28, was cleared of criminal wrongdoing. That much is known. But only now coming into focus, four months later, are the hundreds of fateful decisions made by Sloppy, the organizers of the event, the people who died and those whose lives were spared. Rules are typically meant to ensure the fairness of competition and the integrity of the sport. Sometimes, though, they're also meant to protect people -- from others and from themselves. When such rules are not enforced, or simply don't exist, even the most mundane choices can mark the difference between life and death.It took only two words for Jakob Bonnar to know his dad was angry: "Get back!"

His 13-year-old ears rang and his heart sank. That morning, Jakob had ridden an hour into the middle of nowhere with his father, Travis, and met his sister Heather, 21. They'd parked with family and friends 60 feet from the makeshift track, after spending most of the afternoon riding quads, waiting until sunset to watch two-and-a-half-ton trucks blast across the desert at 80 mph, pick their way through precarious terrain and get air off low natural ramps. Now, just as some of the baddest trucks were to arrive at a popular spectator spot known as the Rock Pile, the fun was over, thanks to Jakob's dad.

With his neighborhood buddy Jose trailing him, Jakob sulked back to his father, who was standing near their ATVs and dirt bikes away from the track. Travis Bonnar, 41, had grown up with off-road racing. His best memories are of this desert, barren lands toward Vegas and Arizona where Southern Californians have been hauling ATVs and dirt bikes for unpoliced weekend fun since the 1970s. The scene at the California 200 was not unlike a football tailgate, where strangers become instant friends and everyone seems to know one another, even when they don't.

Travis had brought his kids to watch the races, go four-wheeling and talk under the stars. "Stuff you can't ask about during American Idol," says Bonnar. "Is God real? Or, how did our ancestors come to America?" It had been a great trip. The last thing Bonnar wanted was to embarrass his boy in front of Jose by being the heavy, but he couldn't shake the feeling in his gut. Something's not right, he thought. We gotta get out of here.

Jakob protested. He wanted to take pictures, maybe throw them up on Facebook to impress friends with his badass summer. After all, he was so close to the trucks he could tag himself in the frames. Father and son compromised. "I told him I'd do it for him but then we were leaving," says Travis, who remembers walking to the track, snapping a photo of one of the first trucks to come through and turning back toward his son.

Then: darkness.

Travis never saw disaster rushing toward him, as the next truck, driven by Sloppy, barreled through the 20-foot channel between fans lining both sides of the track. The trucks had stagger-started just two miles up the course from the Rock Pile, and the first racers had glided over the small crest of the hill, their tires maybe a foot off the ground. Sloppy's truck seemed to come in faster and a little farther to the left as it approached the jump. His brake lights glowed in the dusty dusk, and then the white Ford Ranger, with Misery Motorsports emblazoned on the sides, launched two to three feet off the ground and pitched slightly right. The truck landed hard on its right-front tire, and flipped to the left into the crowd. It came to a rest on its roof.

When Travis came to, he was staring into the eyes of a man suspended by a seat belt. "He was upside down and we were face-to-face," Travis says. He saw a steering wheel below the man and realized the roof of a truck had landed on his shins. He was eye-to-eye with its driver, Sloppy.

In shock, Bonnar didn't know that not only were his legs gashed but his neck was broken in three places, his C6 and C7 vertebrae shattered in fragments. The screams he heard told him he was still alive. His thoughts turned to the kids.

Jakob and Jose -- who stayed where they'd been told, 25 feet off the track -- were low-bridged by flying bodies. Jose was bloodied and had a broken pelvis. Jakob, relatively unharmed, stood over his father, certain his dad was dying. To keep his boy occupied, Travis told him to find the camera, not realizing he was sending his son through a war zone, that flashbacks of exposed intestines and brain matter squishing through eye sockets would cause Jakob to wake up vomiting in the night for weeks. Then he thought of Heather. Where was she? To his right he saw his girl lying in the dirt under the bed of the truck, moving -- but eerily silent. Miraculously, she'd only broken a leg.

Nikki Cariola, 21, was on the ground too. She's sure she lost consciousness but says it's possible that the black cloud of dust and smoke simply made it seem that way. She'd known Andrew Therrien, 22, for more than a year, but their friendship had only recently deepened into romance. The California 200 fell on the couple's one-month anniversary, and they celebrated by having a friend take a photo of them sharing a kiss just before her life changed forever. On the way to the desert the night before, in a caravan of around 20 friends, Therrien, a single dad, stopped at McDonald's to buy his 3-year-old daughter, Kaylin, ice cream and French fries because she'd been so good on the drive. Cariola was stoked to finally be dating a guy who seemed mature beyond his years.

She says she had a feeling the three of them were too close to the action, but there were no barriers keeping them back and she figured the Rock Pile area was safe because it's where everyone met to socialize and watch the racers jump. (Officials estimate that 500 of the 2,000 fans lining the 50-mile course were at that spot. Witnesses say the number was higher.)

At first the trio stood with friends on the east side of the track, but Therrien wanted to move. Cariola still isn't sure why. The west side of the track was downhill from the jump and seemed more dangerous. What if something went wrong? She picked up Kaylin.

Their friend, Derek Cox, 26, decided to grab a beer and asked Therrien if he'd keep an eye on his son, Zeek, 7, for two minutes. Therrien said yes and turned to Cariola: "After this next truck passes, we'll take the kids and cross to the other side." Those were his last words.

"All I remember is turning to get Kaylin's face out of the dust that was coming at us," Cariola says. "The next thing I know Andrew pushes my lower back so hard that I go flying away from him. I woke up and saw blood on Kaylin's face, and I'm looking for Andrew and he wasn't there and I just knew he was gone." Witnesses say Therrien's last act was to shove Cariola, Kaylin and Zeek to safety. Cariola, focused on finding a way to get Kaylin home to Riverside, Calif., had to be persuaded to be airlifted out after paramedics feared she was bleeding internally. A friend drove Kaylin home as Cariola was examined and cleared at the hospital. In addition to the eight killed, 12 spectators were taken to various hospitals.

Robbie Falkoski, 23, had gone to the desert to meet girls. He spent the afternoon playing beer pong and listening to the hard-core band As I Lay Dying. He lined up to watch the race across the track from Therrien -- a buddy from high school. He says the crowd was thick and oblivious to danger, waiting for the 500-horsepower Class 1450 trucks to race through on the opening circuit of a four-lap, 200-mile contest that would likely end at 2 or 3 in the morning. The race had a seven-and-a-half-hour time limit to complete, and it's not uncommon for half the field to fail to finish. Falkoski says he could see that Sloppy was coming in faster than the previous trucks, and he shouted at friends to get back. "Sloppy's truck came through, and the whole world got stupid slow," he says. "After he crashed, it was quiet. Then madness took over. People panicked. It smelled like gasoline and death."

Falkoski found his friend Andrew dead near the passenger window of the truck, then turned to assist an off-duty EMT help the wounded. He hugged those who were in shock and held the hand of a badly injured young man. "He looked right at me and said, 'Dude, I'm going to f---ing die,' " Falkoski says. "I kept telling him, 'Stay with me, bro. You're here.' But I knew he was right."

For all its beauty, the desert hid a secret that soon loomed large: What drew the young crowd to this spot, the freedom and isolation, also kept help from arriving quickly. Some of the injured lay bleeding for more than an hour. There wasn't much to do except wait and pray.

There is little comfort afforded a parent who loses a child, but in light of the stories he's heard of the tragedy, Todd Frantzich is grateful his daughter did not suffer in death. His two kids -- Danica and Cheyenne -- had driven from their home in Las Vegas to watch the race. Back when Danica turned 16, Todd had offered to buy her a BMW convertible. She turned him down, said she wanted a truck. She soon replaced the truck with a raised Jeep she named Hannah-Belle.

Danica and Cheyenne stood side-by-side as Sloppy's truck careered into the crowd. Danica, who'd just turned 20, was killed instantly, the only female victim. Todd was at work when his wife, Lisa, called to tell him that one daughter was gone and the other unaccounted for. The event was three-and-a-half hours from Vegas; a friend drove Todd and Lisa while Todd called coroners to ask if both girls were dead. Halfway there, they learned 15-year-old Cheyenne was safe at Loma Linda University Medical Center with bruises on her hip and lower back.

Dustin Malson and his friend Zachary Freeman, both 24, had gone to watch Dustin's little brother, Darren, race. Dustin and Zachary were killed. Brian Wolfin, 27, also died. Later, a friend, Jason Brown, told a reporter that Wolfin was "the biggest guy you'd ever meet, with the softest heart." Friends initially told Michael Dickinson's wife, Janet, that her husband was injured but alert and joking how lucky he was to be alive. Dickinson, 34, had no idea that he was bleeding internally. Following a cardiac arrest, he was pronounced dead at the hospital.

In another cruel twist, Aaron Farkas, 25, and his best friend, Anthony Sanchez, 23, had gone to the event to see their pal Brett Sloppy race. On the way to the desert their car broke down several times. When they got to the site, they walked to the Rock Pile to ask if anyone could spot them jumper cables. "Sixty seconds later they were hit," says Aaron's mother, Cindy Farkas-Lake. Both were kil.

In the aftermath of the accident, several racers said they had been concerned that the crowd was too close to the track. Darren Malson, 20, whose brother Dustin was killed, had planned to split racing duties with Brian Metcho, his best friend. Metcho was to drive the first two laps, and Darren would handle the back end. Brian started in the group before Sloppy, while Darren went to the Rock Pile to see how the suspension on their truck looked on the jump. "Brian told me he was scared the truck wouldn't fit through the crowd," says Darren. He considered trying to move the crowd back, then decided no one would listen to a dude who wasn't in uniform.

Even if Malson had wanted to ask a cop or park ranger to help, he would have had trouble finding one. Federal officials say the growth of the sport has outpaced the number of staff trained to regulate it. From 2000 to 2010 the number of special recreation permits approved in this district by the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) jumped more than 27 percent, to a total of 130 for motorized-use events. During that same time frame the number of field-office employees in the California Desert District dwindled from 32 to 19. Although 51 law- enforcement officers are charged with covering the 11 million acres of public land in the region, only 38 of those positions were filled at the time of the crash. Of those officers, just seven were assigned to the region where the event was held. One of those seven was on medical leave, another was in training, one was on vacation and one was working for another office. Of the two officers assigned to work the race that day, only one showed up. The other called in sick.

"An officer I talked to later told me straight up it was the worst thing he'd ever seen," Todd Frantzich says, adding that other races his daughters had attended had been secured with barriers, ropes or signs. "If I'd known it was going to be like this, I'd have never let them go."

Cindy Farkas-Lake says she has a picture of her son, Aaron, racing at the California 200 from a few years back. "Every time I look at it my heart breaks because you can see where the course is marked by orange plastic tape," she says.

According to the race permit, course safety was the responsibility of the promoter, Mojave Desert Racing Productions. The company, founded in 1997, stages as many as seven races a year in its California Series and another six in its Superstition Series. MDR had never had a fatality due to an accident. Although fans are admitted for free, each of the estimated 200 drivers pays an entrance fee of $200 to $440, depending on the class of the vehicle. The BLM suspended the permits for the final two races of the California Series and the last three of the Superstition Series. MDR officials did not respond to requests to comment for this article.

Both Frantzich and Farkas-Lake are wary of assigning blame. Travis Bonnar, Jakob's dad, says he understands: "Mistakes were obviously made, but legally I don't know who's at fault. Plus, the off-road community is very close, and everyone's upset. No one wants to see this hurt the sport. People just want better safety precautions."

Frantzich has hired a lawyer but says he's relying on God to sort out who is to blame, while Andrew Therrien's mother, Dori Levinson, takes some comfort from knowing her son died a hero, saving others. "Only in death did I realize my little boy was a man," she says. "He is now with the Lord. My concern is with the young man who was driving and his mental state."

The mental state of Brett Sloppy is largely unknown. Unmarried, he still lives in the town where he was raised, San Marcos, Calif., more than two hours south of the accident site. His Facebook page lists his occupation as "owner of Misery Motorsports" and message board posts indicate he supplemented his job as a welder and fabricator by selling auto parts online. His family's home sits on a corner and is the quietest on the block, with little sign that anyone lives there.

Sloppy still faces the threat of lawsuits from surviving families and did not respond to repeated interview requests from The Magazine. After the accident he wrote on his Facebook wall that he was "so incredibly devastated and lost." In October, the off-road blog reported that Sloppy, during a brief interview, had placed blame for the wreck on tire failure.

Amanda Jones, 23, who witnessed the accident, is friends with both Therrien and Sloppy. "Some people have been telling me God has a plan, and to that I say, What kind of a plan involves one friend accidentally killing another?" she asks. Jones says gossip is filling in the blanks created by Sloppy's silence. "There's some shit being talked because he used to have a Mohawk, as if that means anything. He's the biggest sweetheart in the world. He broke down and cried and said, 'I'm sorry for killing your friend.'"

Farkas-Lake says her son had known Sloppy for about 10 years before he died. She heard that Sloppy attended Aaron's memorial service at her home, but she didn't see him. "After the service we heard he was scared and nervous," Farkas-Lake says. "So we reached out to him and sent him the message that we don't hate him, that we know it was a horrible accident and that it could have been our son behind the wheel."

Other drivers say that it's unlikely there was anything fatally wrong with Sloppy's truck; each vehicle had to pass a tech inspection before it could race. The California Highway Patrol is investigating the crash but will not comment on the condition or whereabouts of the truck; Malson says several theories are circulating about what happened when Sloppy hit the jump, the most popular being that his steering column broke. "If it's true then it's mechanical error, not human error," says Malson, who has camped in a group with Sloppy. "It means he had no control."

Joedy Muha, 22, co-driver in a truck steered by his cousin Brent Veenstra, passed through the Rock Pile two minutes after the accident. Seeing Sloppy's Ranger upside down, Veenstra instinctively stopped in the middle of the course. But fearing they'd get hit from behind if they didn't keep moving, he started driving the 11 miles to the next pit stop. "Honestly, we didn't know how bad it was because trucks wipe out all the time in these races," says Muha. "More than half break down because everyone wants to go fast."

Muha says trucks like Sloppy's can hit 80 mph without the driver's even knowing it because spinning tires render a speedometer useless. Officials estimate Sloppy was traveling at 50 mph when he crashed.

Bonnar says that when he was under the truck staring at Sloppy, he saw the driver bring his hands to his helmet and shake his head. And contrary to Internet reports, Sloppy was not pelted with rocks thrown by an angry mob as he departed. After the accident, Bonnar says his friends helped Sloppy out of his truck and sat him on the back of a quad just yards away. When they noticed him staring at the wreck in shock, eyes glazed over, they moved him to a nearby pickup truck facing away from the scene.

Since the wreck, Farkas-Lake estimates she's been to five or so California 200 benefits, and Sloppy, who escaped serious injury, has stood quietly at every one, including an off-road exposition in October at which a victims memorial was unveiled. At a fund-raiser in September, the two came face-to-face. "I don't remember words because there wasn't a lot to say," says Farkas-Lake. "I just hugged him. He's going to have to deal with this for the rest of his life." Friends say Sloppy knew at least five of the dead and injured, but his lawyer is advising him not to speak to survivors, to grieving families or to the media. Brian Wolfin's relatives have also hired a lawyer, and other families may follow, but lawsuits have not yet been filed against Sloppy, the BLM or MDR.

Jones says Sloppy wants to dismantle his truck, the monster he built with his own hands, but she says a court order forbids him from touching it until the investigation is complete.

The madness that set in on the evening of Aug. 14, 2010, has not ended. In the weeks following the accident, posters on off-road racing Internet message boards argued fiercely about who was at fault. Sure, Sloppy was driving fast, but he was racing. Yes, the spectators were standing too close, but doesn't the human brain recognize safety in numbers? Amateur footage of the crash on YouTube has inspired comments such as: "Those people deserved it," and "Natural selection at its finest." Jakob Bonnar has gone online and begged for the ridicule to stop, only to be derided as a 13-year-old looking for attention.

Even months later, Robbie Falkoski twitches like an angry colt when he talks, and he admits he's always one dirty look away from slugging someone. He's training to be an EMT, and he hopes one day he'll get a call to save someone, and it will be his friend Andrew and he'll get a do-over. "I know that makes me sound crazy, but it's what gets me through," says Falkoski. He wants to move to Holland, where none of this can find him.

A couple of days after his brother was killed, Robert Therrien, 26, tried to check himself into a mental hospital because his thoughts were spinning violently. "But it was a Wednesday, and they said they take people only on Fridays," says Therrien. "I had to work on Fridays." He drives his brother's car and wears his clothes. Before the accident Robert was running with the wrong crowd and had moved to Colorado to start fresh. He enrolled in school and got a job at a Walgreens. After Andrew died, everything changed. He still hasn't come to grips with failing to be there to help his brother. "Robert so badly needs to relive the last steps of his brother's life, and it scares me," says his mother, Dori Levinson.

In the weeks after the accident Robert grew obsessed with one gruesome detail of Andrew's death. He had heard that at least one victim had been decapitated. Bonnar put him in touch with an EMT, who left a message on his cell phone on Sept. 28. Robert can't bring himself to erase the voice mail telling him Andrew suffered serious head trauma but was not fully decapitated.

About two months after the accident, Amanda Jones tried to connect Sloppy and Robert Therrien by phone. Jones, a legal secretary who also promotes products at racing events, was with Sloppy at the Lucas Oil Off-road Expo and called Therrien to ask if he wanted to talk to Sloppy. Therrien couldn't talk then, but Jones set up a meeting for the two men at a later event, where they shook hands and spoke quietly. Jones says she hasn't had a chance to grieve because she's too busy balancing the emotions of everyone around her. One week after the accident, her mother found her huddled in a ball, cold and shaking, and drove her to the hospital. "People think you're fine because you weren't physically injured," says Jones. "I wake up with this every day. I'll never get over it."

Cheyenne Frantzich is struggling to cope as well. The 15-year-old wears her sister's jewelry, "and her entire Myspace is all Danica," says her father, Todd. She complains of feeling dizzy but doctors can't find a medical cause.

With his boy vomiting and his girl unwilling to talk about the accident, a scared Travis Bonnar wrote to the website for the Dr. Phil show seeking recommendations for child psychologists in Southern California. Producers soon called to discuss turning his story into an hour-long TV show. In return they promised to pay for therapy for Jakob and Heather. He agreed to the taping, which aired in late September, after they had promised not to portray the sport negatively. He caught flak for the show on off-road message boards but has no regrets, because he got his children back. Despite his neck injuries, he is able to walk. Doctors tell him that he's won the lottery.

On November 19, the BLM released the findings of its investigation. The report shed the first official flicker of light on what took the lives of eight people in the desert and shattered countless others. The document says MDR had acquired the proper permit from the BLM, which it had done every year since 1997, for $95. The report declared the BLM's "policies and procedures for permitting off-highway vehicle events to be sound, but the agency did not follow these standard procedures" in permitting MDR to host the California 200. Specifically, the agency took responsibility for failing to monitor and enforce rules listed in the permit, including: limiting attendance to 300 people and keeping spectators at least 50 feet from all moving vehicles.

In his interoffice memorandum, the BLM's California state director, James Wesley Abbott, wrote that he was "stunned" by the tragedy, adding: "This event happened on my watch, and I am accountable to the public to see changes are made to better ensure public safety."""

UPDATE December 1, 2010

From the BLM:

""Report on Johnson Valley Off-Highway Vehicle Incident and Review of Special Recreation Permit Program in the California Desert

On August 14, 2010, a tragic accident occurred during the California 200 race event at the Bureau of Land Management's Johnson Valley Office-Highway Vehicle Open Area, which is located approximately 100 miles northeast of Los Angeles. This report summarizes the BLM's response to the incident to date.""

Update: October 27, 2010

Victims Family, Greg Farkus receives death threat
from desert off-road racing community

Fast Aid Board Member Pat Dailey admits,
""P.S. Whoever called Mr. Farkas work with a death threat this afternoon needs to relax, take a chill pill, and let us handle it. Thank you. That's not very cool at all!"".

The desert racing crackheads strike again. Not only do they blame the victims in this murderous disaster, then they call the victims family with death threats!


FAST-Aid Assists Over 20 Families After MDR California 200 Truck Accident

MESA, AZ – OCTOBER 26, 2010: FAST-Aid is the non-profit organization that has assisted eight families of the deceased and the dozen plus injured after the MDR California 200 off-road accident two months ago on August 14, 2010. “In the first couple days, donations began rolling in at an unbelievable pace. In the last 6 weeks FAST-Aid has raised $150,000 dollars from the off-road community to help those who are in need as a result of this tragic accident,” said Jared Tetzlaff, President of FAST-Aid at the recent Memorial unveiling. “I am honored to say that we have already been able to give back $50,000 of that in assistance to the families for various bills, medical expenses and everything else that goes with the loss or injury of a loved one.”
The $50,000 dollars in assistance has been distributed with over $30,000 being for eight funeral expenses, with more funeral reimbursement pending. An additional $5,000 has been allocated in financial assistance to cover household bills that were specifically paid by the deceased and would have been left unpaid due to the loss of that family member.
With over a dozen spectators injured, there has already been $11,000 paid in medical bills or household expenses for the injured. This is a very low amount to date because many of the injured have been adamant that FAST-Aid help the deceased immediately, however are now facing dire financial situations and are submitting applications. “The all-volunteer board at FAST-Aid has worked tirelessly to help all families involved. We still have several files for people who have not received any financial assistance as we are just now beginning to see medical bills roll in,” said Tetzlaff.
“Fast-Aid was started to alleviate financial hardships and meet needs resulting from off-road racing accidents. We have a responsibility to make sure that the funds entrusted to us are distributed as fairly and equally as possible. Unfortunately, sometimes this means forgoing some luxuries,” explained Tetzlaff. Monies are distributed for specific expenses based on receipts submitted within a capped total limit, $8,000 for deceased and $5,000 for injured. Each request is evaluated by the Board of Directors and is approved or disapproved.
“$150,000 sounds like a lot of money until you divide it among all those in need including the families of the deceased, the severely injured, and those needing counseling for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). We also pledged to set up an education trust fund for the children who lost parents with these donations,” explained Tetzlaff. With donations tapering down within weeks of the accident, the board reacted by putting equal caps on the amount allocated to recipients. Some recipients have already reached their cap amount.
The entire FAST-Aid Board of Directors continues to rally to support all those injured at the MDR California 200 accident, a prior accident, and work forward to help prevent future accidents. FAST-Aid also supports a series of CPR Training Classes. Donations to FAST-Aid are welcome at any time, not just in response to a specific event.
About FAST-Aid – FAST-Aid has been helping the off road racing community since April 2009 and has been called to assist in many different circumstances. The board consists of nine racers, crew members, community and industry supporters. FAST-Aid a non-profit organization with the sole purpose of supplying financial and emotional assistance to off-roaders injured at racing events.
Complete Memorial Service at 2010 Lucas Oil Off-Road Expo:
Courtesy Charlene Bower Media

Friday, October 1, 2010


Brett Sloppy, the sloppy race driver who killed eight people and hurt many more, said yesterday to friends and Baja Racing, "my tires failed", "Goodyear is guilty, not me".

In a short interview of the 'Misery Motorsports' owner, Brett M. Sloppy, he went on talking about how he appreciates how the desert racing community is backing him up, 110%. He said, "it wasn't my fault, my tires failed to stay inflated after I launched my truck into the air and landed on my front left and right tires. They lost the bead, deflated and made my truck roll into the crowd". He went further, "Yes I was going fast, yes, I was catching the truck in front of me, but its a race and the people who got killed shouldn't have been where they were."

"I would never use Goodyear Tires ever again, they failed me", Sloppy ended the talk.

Repeated calls to Goodyear Tires went unreturned.

Baja Racing

October 14, 2010 UPDATE!

BLM Stipulations Announced for Plaster City

""Date Release: 10-14-10
BLM Rules for 10-23-10 Race
IMPORTANT – Please Read and Follow

Fuel and Fluids Management

BLM - ALL VEHICLES - A method of controlling and capturing fuel spilled during fueling must be placed under all dump cans and under each vehicle during fueling operations. Commercially available absorbent products are available but a piece of scrap carpet is acceptable as long as the carpet absorbs the fuels and doesn’t simply allow the fuels to run off or drain through.

BLM - ALL PITS WITH 50 OR MORE GALLONS OF FUEL - All pits that have 50 or more gallons of fuel available, whether in drums or dump cans, must provide for fuel containment. At a minimum this requires - 1) an impermeable membrane with raised edges capable of containing all fuels on site should the containment vessel fail and 2) absorbent materials (commercially produced spill pads, diapers) available to soak up spilled fuels. This does not apply to fuels located within fuel trucks or sealed fuel drums not in use stored in trucks or trailers.

BLM - FLUIDS (oil, transmission, etc.) - During vehicle maintenance and repairs all fluids must be contained in spill proof containers. Drop cloths and absorbent pads shall be used under vehicles when changing fluids or repairing engines and transmissions where fluids may be released.

BLM - Known product suppliers that could be contacted for information (no requirement to use these companies, information only): Fuel containment New Pig Corporation 1-800-468-4647 Product suppliers Lab Safety Supply 1-800-356-0783

Plaster City- All pits are required to have a spill mat or some type of catch can when fueling. If you have 50 or more gallons of fuel read the above BLM mandated section and follow it. All pits must have a minimum of (1) 5lb fire extinguisher at the ready when re-fueling.
Environmental Stipulations

BLM - The permittee shall do everything possible to insure that event participants and spectators do not harass or collect wildlife, plants, livestock or archaeological features or artifacts. The event will avoid stock watering tanks, springs, wells, wildlife improvements, corrals, etc., by no less than one-quarter mile unless otherwise approved by the BLM authorizing officer. The event may not utilize, other than on designated roads passing through, for any activities, any burned area(s) which is/are recovering from the impacts of wildfire.

Plaster City- Don’t mess with the wild life. Something as simple as picking up a snake with a stick could cause us to lose our permits.
Racecourse Stipulations

BLM - Permittee shall monitor the race events to prevent damage from course cutting and participants traveling off course. The permittee shall establish racecourse checkpoints to prevent short coursing. Any participant caught short coursing or passing in no passing areas will be disqualified by race officials. The permittee will be responsible for keeping contestants on the designated route/course. Participants who violate any of the mitigation measures or stipulations shall be disqualified from the race. Additionally, any support personnel found in violation of the stipulations, associated with a participant shall result in the disqualification of that participant.

BLM - The event shall be confined entirely to a clearly defined and plainly marked area/route as shown on the authorized use area maps. Racecourses shall consist of existing roads, washes, old courses and trails. For lineal events, passing shall be limited to the disturbed areas of these roads, washes, old courses and trails. Passing is not permitted in vegetated areas adjacent to the course. The maximum allowable width of courses shall be no greater than the existing disturbance (road, old course or trails).

BLM - Permittee is responsible for stationing monitors and/or post signs at road intersections, prohibiting public access, where the general public is likely to access the race course.

BLM - The use area(s), race course(s) and spectator/pit area(s) shall be confined entirely to the designated areas as approved by BLM. Spectator area/pit boundaries shall be clearly marked and monitored to the extent necessary to restrict spectators, pit crews and others to the confines of the designated areas. All event staff must stay in areas assigned. The permittee will be responsible for marking the use area, racecourse and boundaries of spectator parking and pit areas to the satisfaction of the authorized officer. The permittee will not mark the course by painting rocks or plants or other land features.

BLM - The permittee will allow the public to utilize the roads when it is safe to do so.

BLM - At the discretion of the Authorized Officer, BLM Law Enforcement, or local law enforcement may cancel the event due to improper procedures for road crossings, actions placing the public in harms way, or race related conditions (dust over the roads and highways).

Plaster City – When passing wait until there is a clearly defined passing lane. Do NOT pass through bushes. If you are being passed signal the vehicle behind you to let them know you see them and move over as soon as there is a clearly defined lane. Do not pull over into bushes.
Spectator viewing areas will be marked off. The desert is not being closed off to the public. The spectator areas are set up for your safety. If you are in a spectator area, pit area, or any other area designated by Plaster City you must stay behind barriers. If you are one the wrong side of the barriers you are too close to the course and are putting the race at risk of being shut down.

If you are out in the desert spectating or acting as a support crew you must stay at least 100 feet away from the edge of the course. Edge of the race course is typically marked with a bright green triangle. Please pay attention and follow all public warning signs.""

Saturday, September 25, 2010

By: Gary Newsome

Another desert racer comments on the slaughter:

"It's just to
o bad the crash had to happen right where everyone was at"
Some desert racers just don't get it.

The first report on the slaughter details: Failed Desert Racer Brett Sloppy was coming in to the 'rockpile', hard, catching the truck in front of him. Because of the position of the truck on the jump as Sloppy tried to catch the truck in front of him, he flew off the jump far to the left, directly at the crowd of spectators.

If Sloppy of Misery Motorsports had followed the directions of MDR officials and passed through the crowd at a safe speed for the spectators, all of this would not have occurred. It was the drivers responsibility to pass safely. No matter what the conditions were.

Racer Rosenbaum came through the rock-pile area at 82 mph. Brett Sloppy had already passed 5 or 6 other trucks in the 2 miles before the the jump. Sloppy was on the gas hard as he came into the rockpile area, the "jump".

When the truck landed, its back end was out to the right. Sloppy landed hard on the right front passenger side tire which dug in (off the bead) and spun the back end of the race truck into the crowd before it caught and dug in and rolled onto its side, then slid, rolling onto its roof.

Right after the jump is a large jagged rock that sticks out of the ground, since he was on the brakes hard, the sloppy driver, Brett Sloppy, basically stuffed the right front tire hard, blew the bead (the tire then failed to hold air) and the truck was sent over on its right front fender and door. The race truck was uncontrolled as it rolled onto its passenger side and then on to the roof where it stopped.

Killing eight people and hurting many more.

The entire Off-Road industry will be treated like children from now on, because Sloppy lost control of his race truck and killed 8 and hurt many more.

Brett Sloppy is now in hiding.


The only knee jerk reactions have come from the desert racing community.

The BLM and the federal authorities have professionally moved forward to address the issues created as a result of Brett Sloppy losing control of his race truck.

However, "racers" continue to bash the dead and innocents and they threaten and attack anyone with an opinion that varies from the "its just a race accident" bonehead response.

Some racers see the worst thing the community is doing now, is attacking its own.

Check out this thoughtful desert racers response to the online attacks:

From the desert racing crackheads "community": this very "community" has rules saying no threats, etc. Yet, there have been numerous threats or implied threats at Keith. I am at a loss to read about everyone criticizing the spectators and what not, yet being VERY guilty of not following the rules of this "community". This whole topic has been (a) bandwagon lynchmob mentality. Agenda- blame spectators, and say negative things Attack numerous community members. There have been numerous views, and that is all right to have views that differ. Anybody with a half educated mind knows difference of opinion is a good enlightenment. Helps us continue to evolve our own perceptions of our values and beliefs. From an outside looking in perspective, if anyone in this "community" races MDR, you have, in affect, made the MDR family look like young kids who ruthlessly could care less about others..the attacks have been childish at best. Every comment, every statement that continues to slander and libel Keith is another opportunity to hold this community accountable. You cannot willingly harass a person, post their address, say and make threats against their person, home, or business, and think you are not going to be personally accountable. These comments are enticing a mob mentality, and breaking this community's rules. I would delete this whole topic if I moderated on this site, and several of you would be getting warnings about conduct. Selective enforcement is a form of intentional harassment. So Keith has his point of view, so what. Keith can say what he wants, as can all of you apparently... how can you critique him and justify your own behaviors? Makes no sense to me. Read all the HATE in this "community". I have sat back for the most part and shut my mouth, because I don't think my engagement is worthy of it all. I guess what I am trying to say is, the attacks and comments are the very fibers of destruction and poor image of our sport. Do any of you have any credible professional drivers out there slandering the victims or the driver of this incident? Roger Norman has not..BJ Baldwin has not..aren't these guys icons in the industry? Learn from them then. You can have an opinion without pointing a finger. I just wish you all (who are guilty) would think before you speak...and the owners and moderators of this site would follow its own rules..kinda like so many of you have bashed the victims about following the "don't stand so close" rule. Just watch what you say, take down Keiths personal info, remove your is not too hard to track down your address via your IP address. Nobody is that "invisible" on the can be found fairly quick. Would hate to see some of you tangled up in a court situation because Keith gets his property or himself hurt because you posted his info all over this site. The law works in strange ways guys..don't think it cant bite you in the pooper. Lets just remove this whole thread, for the sake of off roading as a whole. For the sake of our image. This is not the kind of off roader I represent, and i hope not you! we should be better then this.""

The desert racing crackhead community lack of proper moderation is killing desert off-road racing.

Gary Newsome
Baja Racing

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Press Release:

""BAKERSFIELD, CA (September 14, 2010) – In light of the off-road tragedy in Johnson Valley on August 14, 2010, Mojave Desert ORBA hosted a meeting on September 13 between the Southern California race promoters, their race rescue organizations and officials from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in Temecula, CA to open up communication between the various race promoters and the medical organizations that service those events.
“Racing in the deserts puts a considerable amount of money into the Southern California economy and our industry. Ensuring it continues safely is in the best interest of everyone involved,” Fred Wiley President/CEO of ORBA.
During the meeting, BLM emphasized their continuing efforts in reviewing established procedures and guidelines relative to Special Recreation Permits. Although a majority of the discussion focused on current event stipulations, changes that the race/rescue organizations might suggest to the BLM were also discussed.
Off road permitted racing has had a positive safety record over the years however with the recent incident in Johnson Valley, BLM representatives stated that working closely on all future events with the off road community will go a long way to ensure that safe racing events continue.
“We applaud the proactive efforts of the off road community to ensure that future events are conducted properly and in the safest manner possible,” stated Teri Raml, BLM California Desert District manager.""

This report just in..."I’m hearing of a somewhat secret meeting called by ORBA with competitive event special use permit holders on BLM lands. This meeting is tonight. (Monday Sept 13, 2010)

I’m told that this meeting has something to do with some new rules that may come into play with regard to permits issue from now until the end of the year. And… I’m told that at this time, BLM is not granting permits in 2011, until some new “rules” are put into place.

I find it odd that ORBA, who is a trade organization and not in the business to offer competition events, is calling this meeting in the first place.

I'm also told that BLM will attend the later part of this meeting tonight. BLM has a legal obligation to be transparent in their decisions. Why BLM would attend a meeting that is closed except to invited guests also stikes me as odd.

Further, there are other BLM permitted vehicle events on federal lands and those permit holders were not invited."

Also Reported from Wayne Nosala of CORVA:

"I requested to attend this meeting and I was declined. I guess CORVA's event permit for family fun day does not qualify CORVA to attend these ORBA secret meetings. ORBA is up to their old tricks, Cut deals behind doors, Claim they are the "Voice of the community" but dont speak to the community. Not healthy for our sport, Not good way to "Work together" as a community."


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Report form MORE race:

""M.O.R.E. Rules

1. The Driver of record will be responable for all the People in his or her group and to see that they are aware of the releases, arm bands and rules.

2. Entrants, pit crew member, volunteers and family waive any claim they may have against Promotor, it officals when voluntarily participating in event and the BLM.

3. There will be no Drinking of intoxicating beverages in the pits.

4. During the race it is the responablity of the driver to report right away to MORE of anyone on the course or not following setback rules go to relay 151-715 and report it or have your team report it. you will slow down anytime someone is inside the setback area and will avoid coming within 50' of them.

5. The speed limited thur Start/Finish and all road crossing will be 35 MPH. you will obey all MPH signs at all times before race, racing and after race. when you come to the MPH sign you will drop down to speed and continue till you come to large sign with (OK) on it.

6. The speed limited is 15 MPH anytime you come within 50' of people

7. If you have problems during the race you are to get off the course as much as possible and out of the way of danger.

8.There will be no one in the pits that has not sign a release. no one under age 16 in pits

9 Any team member that give a monitor or road crossing worker any lip while trying to enforce these rules, team will be subject to disqualification.

10. Motorhomes, family and friends will be back 150' from set back line set up by MORE on Thursday at each event. There will be a 10' space between Motorhomes, trailers, and people and the pits, when pits are set up there should be at least 100' between front of pits to the set back line.

11. After 2pm on Friday any and all pre running will be at 35 mph throughout the desert, anywhere on the course.. Course is Closed after 5pm Friday, No Pre-running, period.

12. At line up no one will come into the line up area only the car and driver.

13. To watch the start you will be back 150' from course unless you are in the pits.

14. There will be a Spectator fence set up to watch the race from there.""

Reports from the MORE race:

"Here are a couple rules relating to speed limits. It was not clear which if any of these speed limits are for race weekend only.

15MPH: Any vehicle any time when around people, including race vehicles during the race.
25MPH: Any vehicle any time when on an access road. Does not apply to race vehicles at road crossings.
35MPH: Any vehicle any time when in the open desert unless otherwise marked. Race vehicles on the marked race course during the race are excluded. Race vehicles during the race are restricted to a 35MPH speed limit in designated pit areas as long as people are 150' away."

"There will be a speed limit of 35MPH on road crossing and main pit area during the race. The day before the race is 35MPH for pre-running all day, will be a designated area for tesing during night the day before the race. No pre-running the night before . The WEEK before the race will be NO speed limit for pre-running."

"The only issues I had, is the distance from the course for pits is still not clear.
We were at mile 12 right past the road crossing and set up about 100' from the course as that is how much room there was to park the trucks and trailers and still be inside the 150' spectator tape that was up. We then put out our own tape so that our drivers would have plentey of room to enter our pit area without having to stop and make a 90 degree turn.
We had many vehicals pulling trailers drive in front of us during the race.
On the other side of the road, is where the MORE controllers were parked about 50' from the course as well as the BLM and many others that came in and out through the day, some wre piting, I did not have a problem with this but still confused on what will be enforced, I would hate to have to pick up and move when we still see others closer."

""Message From Jim / MORE Racing:
Barstow California

Thursday, September 9, 2010 07:56 PM

1. After a 2 1/2 hour meeting this morning with the BLM the following rules were force on us. From the orange colored markers to the pit is 100'. Form the orange colors markers to the front of your Motorhome which will be behind the pits. is 150'

2. At line up no one will come into the line up area only the car and driver.

3. To watch the start you will be back 150' from course unless you are in the pits.

4. There will be a Spectator fence set up to watch the race from there.

There are a lot of new rules all set by the BLM I have no say in them. If you don't follow the rules. There will be no more permits issue. There will be 14 BLM rangers, Sheriff department and our Insurance Co here for this event. everyone MUST be on their best behavior

Before this is over we are going to be like Vegas everything will be closed no pre running and no one will be allowed anywhere except in the start area. the Biggest concern is spectators with the BLM"

BLM Federal Agency promises to beef up staff at races

WASHINGTON — The agency charged with monitoring off-road racing on federal lands is promising to increase staffing and crack down on violations of racing permits.
Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein of California asked the Bureau of Land Management to respond to several questions they had after an accident in August killed eight people and injured 10 in the state's Mojave Desert.
Bob Abbey, director of the BLM, told the lawmakers in a letter obtained Wednesday that the agency will increase its presence at all the events it approves on federal lands, but he did not provide further specifics. The agency had only one ranger on duty patrolling the 50-mile race course where the accident occurred.
Boxer said the agency's response makes it clear that more trained personnel need to staff the races.
Abbey said the agency continues to cooperate with the California Highway Patrol as it investigates the crash. It's also reviewing pending requests to conduct off-road races on a case-by-case basis.
BLM officials have the authority to discontinue an event if they determine that the sponsor has failed to meet permit requirements.
"The BLM will not tolerate any deviation from permit stipulations," Abbey told the lawmakers.
September 8, 2010

Local San Diego Story

Desert Racers Blame Slaughter on the Dead Fans

UPDATE: The 'DGAF' Effect harms Off-Road Racing

Gary Newsome, Editor
Baja Racing
DateLine, Los Angeles, CA:


September 25, 2010

Gary Newsome

Another desert racer comments on the slaughter:
"It's just to bad the crash had to happen right where everyone was at"
Desert racers just don't get it.

The first report on the slaughter details: Brett Sloppy was coming in to the 'rockpile', hard, catching the truck in front of him. Because of the position of the truck on the jump as Sloppy tried to catch the truck in front of him, he flew off the jump far to the left, directly at the crowd of spectators.

Racer Rosenbaum came through at 82mph...mind you (Brett Sloppy) had already passed 5 or 6 other trucks in the 2 miles before this, Sloppy was on the gas hard as he came into the rockpile area, the "jump", then he slammed his brakes in the air and upon landing and moving the steering wheel, causing the race truck to lose control. Right after the jump is a large jagged rock that sticks out of the ground, since he was on the brakes hard, the sloppy driver, Brett Sloppy, basically stuffed the right front tire hard, blew the bead (the tire then failed to hold air) and the truck was sent over on its right front fender and door. The race truck was uncontrolled as it rolled onto its passenger side and then on to the roof where it stopped.

Killing eight people and hurting many more.

The entire Off-Road industry will be treated like children from now on, because Sloppy lost control of his race truck and killed 8 and hurt many more.

Brett Sloppy is now in hiding.

September 14, 2010

Open Letter To San Diego Union

""It's been about a month since the tragic accident at the MDR race at Lucerne Valley.

Curious when the media is going to do a follow up story on how the desert racing relief organization Fast-Aid has co-ordinated a donation collection from individuals, race teams, and companies to assist the families involved.

I thought surely a reporter could have come out to the MORE Chili Cook Off 250 last weekend held at the exact same race course to at least have a look. The report could have included the lessons learned by the desert racing community, how quickly we enacted new safety precautions, and how well we worked with the BLM and other law enforcement agencies to make this race happen.

An interview with the wicked witches of the west, Boxer and Feinstein, telling us how the tax dollars they spent doing whatever it is they claimed they were going to do to protect desert racers from desert ...oh wait, they weren't there either. Funny, you'd think they'd have to show some knowledge and interest in a subject to be able to fix it as they claimed they were going to do after the accident.

In the end, I guess desert racers are like any other news, if it isn't a sensational tragedy it isn't news.

Thanks for nothing!

ps There is a Powder Puff Race for the Cure benefitting Susan G Komen Cancer Research in Barstow in October, another opportunity for the media to put out a positive piece on desert racers. The race is a great family event.

Bob Green
Santee, Ca""

No response from the Union, but your letters are posted here
on Baja Racing"We Report, You Decide!"

September 6, 2010

Desert Racers Continue To Blame the Dead

By: Gary Newsome

The desert racing community continues to blame the victims of the tragedy of the California 200. They also continue to fear loss of riding rights, when the BLM this week talked to the off highway recreation community of California, in terms of continuing the recreation. The BLM will probably need to make changes in some of the operating guidelines of the 'competitive' recreation events, after the results of all the investigations come in.

The OHV or off highway vehicle community in California is made up of two groups, competitive and non-competitive events.

The California 200 was a competitive event, a desert racing event. In over 100 years of desert racing in California and the western United States, the 2010 California 200 was the largest loss of life in its history.

Though, in 1908, just outside Los Angeles, the first spectator in desert racing history was killed when he was struck by a racer, early in the event.

The conclusions of the early investigation of the California Highway Patrol and the BLM has not been submitted to the Director of the California office of the BLM yet. The day the report becomes public, the real debate will begin on the future of desert racing events in California and they will have some impact elsewhere in the west.

Racers need to prepare themselves to discard the no-care attitudes and lax rules that have predominated the recreation for too long.

Clearly, drinking or drugs, in any part of the racing pits, chase or support driving and during testing is over. Agents now following up any incident during competitive events in California will discover the really obvious facts first.

The law enforcement community will be prepared to screen through all the players for the simple explanations first.

Insurance policies and sanctioning organizations will need to be in further compliance to meet the high demands of expanded exposures, now that everybody knows of the huge potential harm, a drivers race truck can do.

Beyond the blabbing about getting your 1450 class trucks into any new rules, the seriousness about the quality of the driving abilities of the racers, is now in public focus. No matter how much the racers want to blame the victims.

An anonymous racer claimed this week: "1450 (class of racing truck) did not create the problem! It was a crowd that did not respect the course rules. You think just because a 1450 driver rolled over and killed 8 people he was the problem because of the class he is in? Also how many 1450/1400 drivers does jim have compared to MDR? Thats right..a handful only. Funny how Jim (MORE) will budge on some rules for the people that race in his series but when it comes to us White fender people its either play in his sandbox or don't race at all. Jim could take this time after the incident and capitalize on it by bending his 1400/1450 rules abit to MDR standards and get alot of entries in this class but nope cause his 1400/1450 guys will just whine like always!"

The competitive events folks of California would do well to establish an in-house licensing program, to police themselves. Such a move would give the control to the people involved in the recreation. This won't happen because desert racing is an escapist activity, the control will be left with the badges to determine what "driving" responsibilities are required in the racing events.

Because, in the end of all the blabbing and investigating, the California 200 tragedy has proven one thing for sure. This is recreation and not a sport.

Racers Who Blame The Dead Fans, Take Heed!

By: Gary Newsome

The ugliest part of the California 200 after-story has been the rampant degradation of the dead fans by the community of desert off-road racers and their associates. One form of this blame, are racers "supporting" the driver, whose truck killed 8 innocent victims and injured more.

Immediately after the initial reporting, some desert racing crackheads starting lining up supporting the sloppy racer, B. M. Sloppy. "This could have happened to any one of us", "we support Sloppy", were some of the knee-jerk reactions from the 'racing community'.

By backing up the racer, the victims of the tragedy are turned into villains. From the very same, very small group of people, the finger has been pointed at the dead. The attention paid to the bodies on the ground, the body bag covered slaughtered innocents.

One of the reasons these families will sue is because of the blame game started by the race community.

Already the BLM has admitted only one officer was even at the event. When 10 should have been patrolling and ensuring public safety.

The race operator, MDR, through its permit rights, has been suspended. An administrative move that reflects the seriousness of the situation and the future of the sanctioner.

Sloppy and his "Misery Motorsports" will be looked over by the authorities. But, racers who support Sloppy have already rendered a judgement. No matter what he did or didn't do, he's 'one of us' so its all OK.

That's also why the entire landscape of off-road racing is being reviewed by the BLM nationally. Racers may not understand this but, people's lives are more valuable than riding rights. The image of 'desert riders' conducting themselves in deference to the lives of others is the exposure our culture will not tolerate.

It's one of the greatest human values, accepted by the American west. Land, water, money...none trump the life of a single American westerner.

When does the storyline of a western novel always get serious. When the life of an innocent is lost or taken.

Off road headlines, nine times out of ten, reflect death and injuries to the general public. The greatest challenge for the future of off-road, open country desert racing, is molding evocative and transferable images that encompass greater human values.

That's why a desert racers victory, on the podium, evokes such emotion. They conquered, they survived, they overcame, they self-actualized their life.

The tragedy are the lives lost. Not the perceived loss of riding rights. 'Perceived', because the BLM is clearly moving in the direction of retaining riding rights after this tragedy. Stay tuned, we are following the BLM's direction.

How safe are the fans?

The fatal crash at Lucerne Valley demonstrates the danger inherent in motor racing, but it's better to keep your eye on the ball at any sporting event.

By Jim Peltz/L.A. Times

A fan of off-road truck racing, Travis Wells accepted a friend's invitation and drove from his Anaheim home to watch the trucks compete on a Saturday evening in an isolated patch of San Bernardino County's Lucerne Valley.

"I had never been to a night race so I thought I'd enjoy that," Wells, 23, recalled of his outing a week ago to the California 200. But the fun turned to horror when Wells suddenly found himself 50 feet from where one truck lost control and plowed into the crowd. Eight spectators died and 10 were injured.

"You don't go there expecting that," Wells said. "It's highly unlikely. But it's a possibility."

The California 200 appeared unusual in that videos and witness accounts revealed that the spectators were exceptionally close to the speeding trucks without a barrier between them.

But even when fans are kept at a "safer" distance, danger lurks for spectators watching not only auto racing but professional baseball, golf, hockey and other sports. It's latent risk, always present if rarely triggered, and one fans might not always think about. Then, in what's typically labeled a "freak accident," the risk turns real in an instant.

Sometimes it results in injuries that aren't serious, other times they are, and sometimes the casualties are simply victims of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Consider the past several months:

-- A 3-year-old girl suffered a fractured skull in June after being struck by a baseball hit into the stands by Dodgers catcher Russell Martin during batting practice at Dodger Stadium.

-- A woman died in February after being hit by a loose tire from a crashing dragster in a National Hot Rod Assn. event near Phoenix.

-- Tiger Woods struck spectators with his shots three separate times in one round in June at the Memorial Tournament in Dublin, Ohio.

-- Seven fans were injured by flying debris in April when the Ford driven by NASCAR driver Carl Edwards flipped on the track and soared into the grandstand fence at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama.

But comprehensive, publicly available statistics on fan injuries aren't easy to find, according to Dr. James Winslow of Wake Forest University's Department of Emergency Medicine, who co-wrote a 2007 report, "Spectator Risks at Sporting Events," that focused on baseball and hockey games.

"There's very, very little out there" in terms of data, Dr. Winslow said in an interview. "If you knew what the actual risk was, you can make a better decision about assuming that risk, which is definitely out there."

However measured, the risk is found in tiny print on the back of many sports' tickets. On the back of a Dodgers ticket, for instance, it says the holder "assumes all risk and danger" that could be caused by "thrown bats and thrown or batted balls."

"The single best thing we can do is to encourage [fans] to always keep your eye on the ball," Dodgers spokesman Josh Rawitch said. "We can't be in every seat and make sure people are paying attention to the game, but we certainly try to encourage them."

Seats behind the home-plate area are protected with a backstop fence, but lower-level seats along the base lines are open to frequent foul balls and, on occasion, a flying bat. Yet sitting farther away doesn't guarantee safety. A fan was hospitalized last month after tumbling 30 feet from the stands at Rangers Ballpark while trying to catch a foul ball.

Even when there are barriers for fans, safety isn't assured. In 1997, the wife of hockey great Wayne Gretzky was knocked unconscious by the pane of protective glass around the rink at New York's Madison Square Garden after the glass was jarred loose by two colliding players.

As the off-road tragedy illustrated, auto racing has produced some of the most harrowing experiences for spectators. Perhaps the worst disaster occurred in 1955 at Le Mans in France when a race car flew into the grandstands, killing the driver and more than 80 fans.

At the Indianapolis 500 in 1973, a major crash on the front straightaway spewed flame and flying parts through the fence in front of the stands, injuring 12 spectators and prompting Times columnist Jim Murray to write that "when the lions start to go up into the boxes after the Romans, it may be time to reexamine the 'sport.' "

Other incidents have prompted motor sports to make changes. After the car of NASCAR's Bobby Allison sailed into the fence at Talladega in 1987, sending debris into the stands and injuring four spectators, NASCAR mandated carburetor-restrictor plates at that track and Daytona International Speedway to put a cap on speeds.

They're still in use, but that still didn't prevent Edwards' crash this year at Talladega.

Even so, while race car drivers "understand that they're doing something that's risky, fans who come to a motor race should not have to have an elevated expectation of risk," said Steve Page, president of Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, which is hosting an Izod IndyCar Series race Sunday.

"Everything that we do, in terms of where we put our seating, where we put catch fences and barriers, is based around the assumption that this should be a safe experience" for fans, he said.

But as the Lucerne Valley accident showed, getting as close as possible to the action is part of the lure of live sports, regardless of how knowledgeable someone is about the hazards.

"People want to be close to things," said Dr. Winslow, "to be near the danger."""

Ventura Memorial CLICK HERE

August 21, 2010 UPDATE:

"The sanctioning rules are that when you're operating a racing vehicle within 50 feet of a crowd you have to have your speed at 15 miles per hour or lower". Race Expert assertion proven true, when the BLM releases parts of the agreement with the sanctioner:

BLM Suspends balance of MDR Racing Permits

Federal Investigation: "It could have been prevented" CLICK HERE

The DGAF crew really "Dont Give a F***",
Audit Fast-Aid Immediately

Local Story CLICK HERE

UPDATE: August 20, 2010

Racers Want "Aid", now MDR wants aid

It's assumed Brett Sloppy, the sloppy desert racer whose truck killed 8 people last weekend, will get money from Fast-Aid. Well, because they're all buddies of his and the fund was started to give money to racers, not fans/victims of races.

This morning, now MDR, the race organizer wants aid:

""MDR: Patricia, My Aunt, Needs Your Support

OPEN LETTER: My Aunt Patricia is also a victim. She is psychologically devestated and never in a million years thought something so tragic would happen at an MDR event. In the past few days, I've had many conversions with my aunt Patricia crying on the phone beside herself not knowing what to do. All she wanted to do was put on a safe and fun family event. My aunt is a fighter. In my short stint in working with her in the beginning of MDR, she stuck steadfastly to the SCORE rule book -- even if it pissed off a wealthy driver at a competition review board meeting after a race. My aunt is always thorough in everything she does -- especially safety and legal issues ever since that first August 1996 Barstow BLM lottery date meeting. Let's not forget her in this tragic accident.
My aunt Patricia has always treated the "Little Guy" at an MDR event as though each racer were Robby Gordon. Since MDR's inception, Patricia Williams is the one that urged permission from the BLM to put on printed paperwork and on the MDR website the 15 mph guideline in the pits and that the spectators to stay back 100 feet or more -- this will NOT be found in any BLM Permit Handbook or on any permit application. Signs were always posted at ALL OHV areas warning the general public of a special event by its time and date. Since the first MDR race, the Wild Wash 250 in February 1997, Pat felt that having 2 ambulances and 1 fire suppression vehicle at every event was important -- and it was expensive. ....We all know the media is fascinated about our extreme sport, but they are totally misinformed and making her the "fall guy". The money-hairs are standing up on the necks of the "Sharks". Unfortunately, there's little to nothing -- not at $360 pro and $200 sportsman entry fees. We all are passionate about desert racing and know the risks involved.
Patricia Williams has contributed to local off-road desert racing
more than anyone since I went to my first Baja 500 SCORE race in Mexico back in 1986. Financially-speaking, most Southern California companies such as Kartek, Mckenzies, Eibach Springs, King Shock Technology, Sway Away Shocks, Fox Shocks, PCI Radios, Total Chaos, Camburg, PRP Seats, just to name a few companies AND ALL the proffessional fabrication shops like Solo Motorsports, C & D Fabworks, Blitzkreg, Link Motorsports, that are in business today all owe Patricia Williams a debt of gratitude. We all no there's no money in promoting local desert racing, but Pat saw this opportunity and a challenge back in 1996 after Mr. Castro of La Rana "Screwed" the sport. In 1996, Pat and I went to a SCORE race and she was hooked on desert racing. After the whole La Rana thing, she felt that she could do a better job. Afterall, at one point in her life, she managed over 200 people at one of her jobs, "Why not this?" she thought. Hence, the "Grassroots" organization known as Mojave Desert Racing was born. Now the "Little Guy" can realistically compete with the help of family and friends (or fab shops) to build a class legal buggy or truck and experience the "off-road racing highs" with all the bells-and-whistles of a SCORE event. When the BLM had open meetings to discuss this or that issue pertaining to desert racing, who was there? My aunt Patricia and uncle Jimmy fighting behind the scenes for our beloved sport. It's a little know fact that when Ottis passed away at one of his Fudpucker events in the El Centro BLM OHV areas, shortly after that, one of Ottis' family members asked if my aunt Patricia would take over the Fudpucker series since the BLM dates were "Historic Dates" and the Sierra Club was looking steal these dates so no off-road racing events would happen down south. She took on the challenge of making that series work -- again, keeping desert racing alive where it would have dissappeared, which then in turn, financially helped San Diego-based parts stores like ORW, Race Ready Products and all the fabrication shops in that area. All of us who work in this industry that we are so passionate about desert racing that feeds our families, including myself, owe Patricia Williams a debt of gratitude.
In the days ahead, let's not turn our backs in the coming tough times for Patricia and Jimmy. Also, not to forget Bret Sloppy and what he's going through mentally. Any support and prays from RDC members is greatly appreciated -- afterall, my aunt Patricia and my uncle Jimmy are passionate about desert racing AND they are my family too...


"Desert off-road racing is fighting for its very existence following Saturday's tragedy in Lucerne Valley at the California 200.

Eight race fans died when an out-of-control truck rolled into the crowd.
There is a definite distinction between the type of racing that occurred in the High Desert and stadium-type racing, such as the recent Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series at Glen Helen Raceway. The California 200 was on a 50-mile loop while the Glen Helen man-made course was less than a mile.
Another major difference is the safety factor. For any type of stadium racing, made popular by the Mickey Thompson Off Road Grand Prix, safety was the primary concern and promoters often prohibited fans from sitting in the first 20 rows or so.
But with last weekend's accident, the sport is under fire, notably from Howard Stern in New York to Los Angeles' "John and Ken Show." Their targets have been the lack of concern and safety exhibited by those attending such races, but they've taken to trashing the sport and its existence.
All eyes will be on the 534-mile TSCO Las Vegas to Reno endurance race this weekend. That's just fine with Casey Folks, owner of the sanctioning Best in the Desert Racing Association.
"We set the standards for safety in off-road racing," he told the Associated Press. He also said the video shows "the ingredients for a tragedy."
"You'll see a lot of young people. You'll see a lot of people with beers in their
hands," Folks said. "You'll see people on both sides of the race course which is extremely dangerous. I'm not going to throw the promoter under the bus or the BLM under the bus - I wasn't there - but it looks to me like it was an unsafe atmosphere."
Mojave Desert Racing sanctioned the Lucerne Valley event and has not responded to many media inquiries. Its silence is not aiding those who want to keep the sport or create ways to improve safety.
There have been a great number of voices making loaded statements in the past week. There has been plenty of misinformation. A thorough investigation is needed and it's good the California Highway Patrol has stepped on federal lands to get to the elusive truth."

*Reportedly, the fencing seen in the 2009 California 200, at the rockpile, was placed there by an organization other than MDR. Clean-Desert had placed the crowd control fencing, seen in the 2009 rock-pile area videos.

*Sloppy had raced in only 4 races prior to the California 200 this past weekend, in which his truck killed 8 people and injured many more.

*Sloppy co-drove in the same event last year.

*At this years drivers meeting, the racers were admonished to "go slow" through the crowd at the rock pile.

* Pat Dailey said tonight in a public forum, "Never in our wildest 'DREAMS'", talking about the money in the coffers he wants to give to Sloppy the driver who barreled into the crowd.

In his dreams? Why? Because the fundraiser will spend up to 60% of the money shammed for 'travel and advertising'. Can you spell 'Las Vegas Roadtrip'? Pats 'slush fund' needs an audit. A Federal Senate Investigative Audit.

*No wonder the racers don't want to spend money on the victims! They know some intimately, 'Bonzen' left the Las Vegas sisters in the very spot they were struck. One died, the other with major injuries.

Are they afraid when the truth comes out, the lawsuits may multiply?

The Unbelievable Story Continues:

Ryan Bonzen Lewis had taken the one Las Vegas sister who died, on a ride over the rock pile, just prior to the start of the race. He then left them were they were struck by his friend, Brett Sloppy. His friend!

Unreal! Friends of the driver whose truck careened into the crowd, killing 8. Including the innocents from Las Vegas.

By the way, Ryan Bonzen Lewis left the girls at the spot where the truck crashed, but he wasn't there. He left, he thought the spot, 'felt dangerous' and he had a ""bad vibe""!

[SEE TV Interview below]

The Story

Bunches of bombastic blow-hards came out of the woodwork representing 'the racing family' after the 'Sanctioned Slaughter, of 8 Dead Race fans and numerous injuries this past weekend at the (MDR) Mojave Desert Racing sanctioned California 200.

"The F-ing stupid people were to close to the trucks", "the money raised by all the fundraising efforts now should go to us the racers, not the stupid families of the dumb dead idiots", this from racing insiders finding out over $100,000 has been raised, 'for the victims of the California 200'.

"It was a 'freak accident'", "its a racing accident", "this could have happened to any one of us", the desert racers are pushing after the events of the weekend have begun to spout out of the race community of the off-road west. No words of concern for the families of the victims, only selfish concerns over the future of their racing.

UPDATE: August 20, 2010

Austin Fish Farner, Pat Dailey & Jim Holthus and Dan Novak and the "DGAF" Play displayed by the crackheads, the same people handling the FAST-AID money....TO BE EXPOSED...

The first reactions from many in the racing community, after the incident, were ugly. A few Blamed the victims and many called for cover-ups of the facts. Why do people 'cover-up? Because they have something to hide.

We reported on the 'blamers' & 'cover-ups' as soon as we saw them. We've identified them as the DGAF crew. They really don't "Give a F***". Pat Dailey, Austin Fish Farner and Jim Holthus DGAF.

These images are from the Del Mar California State Fair, this summer. They actually ran that truck, in front of families of the general public.

DRC, the desert racing crackheads, TORR and General Tire support this DGAF crew. They should be ashamed.

We have much more material on the "DGAFers" or the DGAF crew, we'll get to later.

But now, we believe, efforts are proceeding to assist the surviving families.

Trust, but verify.
Baja Racing supports any effort to care for those damaged by last weekends tragic events. We also call on an audit of the funds raised, to account for their use.

Why? Because we know about some of the people handling the money. You wouldn't want these people anywhere around anything good.

Donors should receive an immediate and ongoing audit of FAST-AID. These, "DGAFers" are part of what is killing Off-Road Racing.

“We are humbled by the donations including large sums of $50,000 from Mango Racing and $10,000 from 4 Wheel Parts Wholesalers, and appreciate everything all the way down to the $5 donations. Off Road clubs and companies are rallying together to form fundraising events across the country. The off road community is tight knit, and they are certainly rallying and showing their positive support,” stated Jared Tetzlaff, President of FAST-Aid.""

""Jesse James Helps Raise Cash For Crash Victims' Families

SANDRA BULLOCK's shamed ex-husband JESSE JAMES is returning to public life to help raise cash for the families of the victims of a race crash in Lucerne, California.
Eight spectators were killed and another 10 left seriously injured at the weekend (14Aug10) when driver Brett Sloppy lost control of his truck and hurtled into the crowd at the California 200 off-road race meeting.
The tragedy has prompted TV mechanic James to record a public service announcement for Fast-Aid, a charity he co-founded which helps raise cash for the victims of race accidents.
In the PSA, he states, "Please give what you can, even if it's only a few bucks. It all adds up and it all can help make a difference in the lives of some great people.""


Originally, FAST-Aid was put together for this stated (on their website) purpose and where is the money going?:

"FAST Aid is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing financial, educational and personal assistance to injured racers, support teams and their families as well as ensures the necessary support is in place to complete a thorough recovery and rehabilitation from motor sports racing incidents." Then it changed after the California 200 tragedy, to: "Racers, Pit Crews and Race Related Injuries!!".

Why did it's mission change and where is the money actually going?

More of the money recently went to the desert crackheads at the events claimed to be fund-raisers are actually going to the desert racing crackheads!:
""Preorder your ticket now to guaranty admission. The "Hotel is Irvine, CA" . Seating and General Admission is limited to a "First come - First serve" basis. DVD/Admission combos will get their DVD during the Premiere Party, they will not be shipped. Pre-ordered tickets won't be mailed, they are Will Call at the door only, listed under the name the order was placed under.""

We are closely following the money trail and the questionable people handling the "RELIEF" money.

Our Original Story continues...

The spoiled and myopic "DGAF" attitudes after the carnage of the weekend of media reports from the horrible images and blood soaked stories are beginning to have an effect on publics, millions of people, outside of off-roading.

As an example, ""Howard Stern, on Sirius radio, was mocking the very sport of off-road racing as something that only juveniles and the “lowest common denominators” (or something like that) could possibly enjoy as a spectator sport. Stern just couldn't comprehend why anyone would want to stand out in the desert, mere feet away from things that might kill you should it all go wrong. I'm sure he wasn't the only one who thought this when they heard the news.""

There it is. The biggest freak on the planet, Howard Stern calling desert off-road, freaks!

Are they FREAKS?
The proof, their own video of the tv interviews, including Ryan Lewis, who left those girls on the spot his friends truck, killed and maimed them! the DGAF Crew here:

If that isn't creepy enough for you, Ryan gets on TV (above vid) tells his story of how he left those girls there and THEN! his friends truck (Sloppy) rolls on top of them...the DGAF crew then DV's (tapes) the TV interview and puts it up on YouTube! UNREAL! and very exposed to a lawsuit. A "racer" who knows all about the danger he left those girls in, walks away to allow them to be killed and maimed, moments later. He Didn't Give A F***!

Is Ryan Lewis part of fast-aid? So, he's friends with the people collecting the money for the relief? And he's part of the problem. He may have been part of the reason that girl is dead. I'm going to puke...

Well Ryan Bonzen Lewis, you should take responsibility for your actions. Since it was you who knew the risks of that location, you are an experienced, knowledgeable desert racer, right? You knew the rules, right? And you didn't take it upon yourself to keep the crowd safe, right? Not even your so-called friends, the girls from Las Vegas. But, you did save yourself, right? You and your friend, Brett Sloppy. The driver of the truck that killed 8 people and injured more.

I bet you feel real bad.

Open up your family pocketbook for the rest of your life and pull out $1,000 per month to make up for your lack of care for the innocents that were around you, those who are no longer here. And the ones that did survive and have to remember that day for the rest of their lives.

Take responsibility for your actions. Unless you DGAF


Inside the desert racing community, the most lurid comments are being made against the families of the victims.

Many in the racing family want all the funds raised to go to them and NOT the real victims in this slaughter.

Gee, do you think one badge with a radio, two volunteers and several hundred yards of fencing could have saved the entire desert off-road racing world?

There was NO CARE for the fans. That's why the deaths took place. There was no thought to the safety of the public.

The BLM wasn't really thinking or acting for "civil protection". They had ten badges at the event and not one at the rockpile.

David Briery, a BLM spokesman said Monday:
“They probably had 10 rangers out there last night, but it’s hard to manage a 50-mile course,” he added. “In hindsight, they should have been over by the rock pile, because that’s where most of the people were."

"The federal permit required race vehicles to travel at 15 mph or less when passing within 50 feet of any group, the agency said. And it held the event organizer responsible for keeping the vehicles on the race course.

“We will go over the permit with a fine-tooth comb and make sure that they complied with everything and whether the application needs to be modified in the future,” said David Briery, a BLM spokesman. “Obviously, we don’t want anything like this to ever happen again.”

The bureau charged the company a $95 fee for Saturday’s race, plus $5 for each participating driver.

The race sponsor has been staging events on federally owned stretches of the Mojave Desert for at least 11 years, holding six races each year, Briery said.

The event organizer promised to keep a private ambulance during the race and carry an insurance policy of up to $2 million, federal officials said."

The rock-pile, the biggest concentration of fans at the race that evening and not ONE badged officer.

MDR, Mojave Desert Racing didn't have any crowd control measures in place at the rock-pile. In years past, as reflected in online videos of the rock pile in previous years races, fencing to control the crowd is clearly visible. None at this years event.

And the driver, Brett Sloppy. Was he concerned about the fans, when he punched the gas going through the crowd? Did he touch his brake pedal at all, proceeding through the huge, swelling crowds? Check the video. He LAUNCHED over the jump. He barreled over the jump with bad judgement & timing. Not just bad judgement, as a race driver, he failed in his most important duty at that exact time. To proceed through the crowd, safely.

The BLM had no officers at the rock pile. One radio call to Patricia Williams of MDR, stopping the start of the race until appropriate crowd control measures were in place, would have limited the risky situation.

MDR had no crowd controls at the rockpile. Today, the national media exposed the race sanctioning body, MDR, as being negligent in a prior crowd control based, injury lawsuit. MDR had paid out thousands of dollars to the one victim.

""MDR, the sanctioning body that organized the California 200 off-road race, was sued for negligence after a similar incident 12 years ago, court records show. Mojave Desert Racing paid $145,000 in 2001 to settle a case with a spectator after a racer hit him during a 300-mile off-road race near Barstow in 1998. That accident reportedly led to the victim, Craig Diller, suffering from multiple fractures and a heart attack.
MDR paid Diller after the state Fourth Appellate District court noted that the race organizer may have increased spectators’ risk by failing to mark and blockade a portion of an off-road race course.
“It appears that they learned nothing from the previous case as the facts are very similar to the current accident,” Josh Glotzer, the attorney who had represented Diller, said by phone Monday. “It’s a tragedy that could have been avoided, I think.”
MDR officials did not return repeated calls for comment.
The sanctioning body, which operates out of a home in South El Monte, could face tens of millions of dollars in lawsuits by family members of the victims, Glotzer said.
The BLM said Monday that MDR was responsible for the safety of the desert event.""

Brett M. Sloppy, racing while proceeding through the rock-pile area, was using excessive speed considering the conditions and prematurely hit the jump in an attempt to catch the racer ahead of him, losing control of his doomed race truck and killing 8 innocents and injuring many more. Many are still in hospital, suffering.

John Seimore, Reporting from Lucerne, CA.
Gary Newsome, Editor

Anonymous comments from the public:

"the DGAF crew is hurting our off road rafcing image, thanks for outing them. they are the desert racing crackheads"

"The desert racing crackheads in action and we're supposed to take these people seriously? Here is austin Fish farner his fake name (the only real 'freak racing accident'), the little guy in the fight. pat dailey is the announcer here, cackeling like a little girl in the video": [Editors note: Those pictured in this video have now decided, since they have over $100,000 of other peoples money, to remove the video from public view]:
The Video They Covered Up, EXPOSED!

Austin Fish Farner, Pat Dailey & Jim Holthus and Dan Novak and the "DGAF" Play displayed by the crackheads, the same people handling the FAST-AID money....TO BE EXPOSED...

"HAHAHA" Sent from his iPhone, "TCB Entertainment"[Sept 1. email].

The "DGAF" crackhead bios on Fast-Aid:

Board Member: Dan "200" Novak

In July 2007 Dan was involved in a terrible roll-over accident towing his boat after enjoying a weekend at the lake. He was forced out of his lane by another vehicle and his truck and trailer jackknifed eventually causing him to roll over three times on concrete at freeway speed. Had he and his passenger not been wearing their seat belts this accident surely would have been fatal.

"A wreck like that changes your life. There are so many things I never got around to doing and had it not been for my seat belt, I wouldn't be alive to go do those things now."

While he was in the emergency room having his injuries tended to, Dan made the decision to stop being a spectator and start racing. Since then, Dan has come along way and currently he pit crews for a couple of off road teams, a drag car team and, 17 months after his accident, he finally got behind the wheel and began racing himself and continues to do so.

"Safety is something that is always on my mind. I really don't think most people know how difficult it is to come back after a bad crash. It has been over 2 years since my wreck and I still feel the repercussions from that day. I have muscle damage from my seat belt and my back will never be the same. I know I am lucky to be alive and am thankful of all the emergency personnel, doctors, nurses, and technicians who have helped me through my ongoing recovery. Being a part of FAST-Aid is my way of 'paying it forward' and helping people who have something unfortunate happen to them while racing has a direct link to my heart."

Board Member & Co-Founder: Patrick Dailey

Patrick Dailey has been involved in Auto Racing since he was 10 years old. His father worked for Nissan Motorsports and has always been involved in Motorsports in some capacity his whole life. In 2007, Patrick began pitting for DeJong Racing and got the off road racing bug. In 2008, he began racing his own car. He built a Class 5/1600 car and raced the S.N.O.R.E. series and captured 1 win during the season. He finished second in class for the season and also won S.N.O.R.E. Rookie of the Year honors for 2008. He also finished 8th overall as well.

Patrick is married to Angie and they enjoy going to the desert, movies, and sitting around at home as much as possible when Patrick is not racing. They have no children but have 3 dogs. The reside in Vista, CA.
In 2009, Patrick has again raced his 5/1600 car and plans on building a new car for the future. When he is not racing his car, he is usually pitting for the Desert Assassins, Geer Racing, and Danzio Racing. He also is a crew member for Johnny Greaves Motorsports which fields trucks driven by Johnny Greaves and Jeremy McGrath in the TORC series.

Earlier in 2009, I was approached by Adam Gunn with an idea. This idea has become FAST-Aid. I felt that this was my way to give back to the sport that has provided me with so much love. I pledge that we will work hard for those that have had an accident while racing.
We are supposed to take Fast-Aid and Pat Dailey and Dan Novak seriously? Seriously stupid!

This video is Cameron Steele, Pat Dailey, Dan Novak and the desert racing crackheads FREAKING in Mexico. The DGAF crew "at work".

"here's the video the 'Sloppy racer', brett m sloppy tried to hide from the public by deleting it from public view on his myspace account:"

Keep sending in your Anonynous comments to

""Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Followup to the Johnson Valley racing event tragedy.

It’s been a couple of days now since this tragedy occurred and the dust is
starting to settle now and more information is starting to get out about this

Let me say, right off the bat, that if you go looking to the mainstream news
media for your information you’ll be missing a lot. I suggest you surf over to
this blogsite which has probably the most information about this event and
this sport.

Scroll down a little until you get to the photograph of the truck being rolled
over with the title “Sanctioned slaughter, 8 dead fans.”

This is the most complete information site for this event, I believe on the whole
world wide web. And they are not pulling any punches, note the reporting on the
cover attempt by some of the people there, advising people not to turn over
any of their videos, etc, to keep it private.

Warning to anyone who attended this event and took any videos, etc that
caught the accident, don’t listen to those who tell you to keep it private,
the last thing you want to do, is to commit obstruction of justice, a crime
treated very severely by judges, both state and federal. If the authorities
ask you about it, be truthful and honest. This was also ensure that the full
facts come out to the light of day, and that a reckoning can be had for what

This is one of the most horrific events to have happened in recent times, and at
some point there will be answers given. Right now everyone involved is trying to
figure out what happened, and some, such as the group sanctioning this race and
the BLM which allowed it, will soon be in the hot seat looking at the government
officials who will be questioning them under oath, possibly televised. After that, I
am sure, these same officials will be sitting at a table answering questions again,
under oath, in a high stakes event where money and liberty may very well be at

As I said in my original post, this was similar to events back home in the south, where
there was minimal protection for spectators. Being older now and not really following
this sort of thing, I was surprised to discover, per this BAJA RACING website that
this sort of event would not have been allowed back there. I applaud those eastern
states that don’t allow this sort of thing.

If you look at the site, which is totally devoted to Baja racing, desert racing, you can
sense that this race in Johnson Valley was really an accident waiting to happen. There’s
talk that people were standing as close as 5 feet to the racing vehicles, 5 feet in dark
and extremely dusty, murky conditions, no guardrails or even hay bales between them,
it makes me wonder why this tragedy didn’t happen years ago.

You haven’t heard the last of this, folks, that’s my prediction. The BLM, notorious for
caving in to the offroad lobby, is in for a major grilling, and I predict when all the court
trials are over, they are going to be in for some major financial damage. Also look for
news of some retirements and/or firings to occur as well- right away I think.

BLM caving in---- sounds kind of like the way they cave in to every energy developer
out there---- here, they caved in to the offroad lobby, and what did it get them?
The answer will be in the shattered lives of the survivors of the carnage, and the family
members of the ones who did not.

This has to be one of the worst events that I have ever heard of in 56 years on this planet,
and what makes it even more so, is the knowledge that it really didn’t have to happen. This
unreal, “Mad Max” atmosphere of the event, shouldn’t have been allowed then and hope-
fully will not be the “de rigueur” for future events of this type.

I wish to express my heartfelt condolences to the families that had members hurt or injured.
Vaya con dios.

CBS Network Report VIDEO

MDR Sanctioned Race CANCELLED





UPDATES TO 8-15-2010


Driver of Record:
#1461 Brett Sloppy

Misery Motorsports
(Well, the MySpace Site was here now its gone! Guilt Removal)

Workers push an overturned off-road race truck upright Sunday after it went out of control and plowed into a crowd of spectators during a race earlier in Lucerne Valley, Calif., Saturday, Aug. 14, 2010. At least eight people were killed during the incident about 100 miles east of Los Angeles.
(AP Photo/Francis Specker)

Emergency workers look at an off-highway vehicle that lost control and barreled into a crowd of spectators on Saturday, Aug. 14, 2010 at an off-road race called the California 200 being held at Johnson Valley Off-Highway Vehicle Area, killing eight people and leaving 12 wounded, authorities said.
(AP Photo/Kris Reilly - Victor Valley Daily Press)

Sunday August 15, 2010

AP Update 6 PM 8-15:

BLM Sez, MDR Responsible for Safety!
"LUCERNE VALLEY, Calif. — The crowd at the off-road race could almost touch the trucks as they hurtled and bounced over the desert sand. They were close enough for one mistake to end eight lives.
Hundreds of thrill-seeking fans watched in horror Saturday night as one racer took a jump at high speed, hit his brakes on landing and rolled his truck sideways into spectators, sending bodies flying on a section of track that had no guardrails or anything else to keep the crowd back. Eight people were killed and 12 were injured at the California 200, a race in the Mojave Desert about 100 miles northeast of Los Angeles.
"You could touch it if you wanted to. It's part of the excitement," said 19-year-old Niky Carmikle, who stood sobbing over a makeshift memorial on the spot of the crash Sunday. Her boyfriend, 24-year-old Zachary Freeman of Ventura, was killed in the crash. "There's always that risk factor, but you just don't expect that it will happen to you."
California Highway Patrol Officer Joaquin Zubieta said Brett M. Sloppy, 28, of San Marcos, was behind the wheel of the truck involved in the crash. Zubieta said alcohol was not a factor in the crash and there were no plans to arrest Sloppy, who the CHP estimates was going 45 to 50 mph at the time of the crash.
Zubieta said state vehicle codes don't apply because the race was a sanctioned event held with the approval of the federal Bureau of Land Management, which owns the land used for the race.
The BLM issued a statement saying safety was the responsibility of the race organizer, South El Monte-based Mojave Desert Racing. MDR's permit required racers to travel 15 mph or less when they were within 50 feet of fans, and allowed no more than 300 spectators for the event, the agency said.
BLM spokesman David Briery said the agency would cooperate with the CHP's investigation."

Humpy Wheeler Comments on the California 200 Disaster

"Off-road racing is largely a West Coast phenomenon, but it is creeping toward the East Coast, though fans are more protected, and it is held in more confined arenas to accommodate television coverage, former Charlotte Motor Speedway President Humpy Wheeler said Sunday.
The kind of off-road race like that in California - where eight spectators died Saturday after an off-road truck hurtled into a crowd on the 50-mile course of unmarked terrain - is virtually unknown in the east, he said.
"To make money, you've got to have a fence around the place, or the fans won't come. And if you want TV, you can't race on (a miles-long) course," Wheeler said.
He said there is some brand of off-road racing in West Virginia and Pennsylvania, but it's staged inside enclosed arenas with a fence between the spectators and the off-road cars and trucks.
"It's the same cars and the same thrills" as the kind of off-road races in the west, Wheeler said. Promoters, he said, have a hard time getting insurance if a track or course doesn't have the "strict separation" between fans and racers.
At least 27 people have died at off-track racing events in the United States in the past 20 years, including 10 spectators, according to Charlotte Observer records.
And at least 464 people have died at all kinds of racing events across the United States in the last 20 years, the records show. Of those deaths, at least 46 were spectators. Besides the eight who died Saturday, two others were killed on a course outside a track.
The type of off-road racing involved in the Mojave Dessert of California, where there are no barriers, and spectators cluster against the course, began in the early 20th century along the Baja Peninsula of Mexico. "It was a famous race," Wheeler said.
Yet in the early 1970s, off-road racing legend Mickey Thompson founded SCORE International to oversee off-road racing. He and his wife, Trudy, began organizing races in big arenas, reeling in the sport from a desolate terrain to cities like Los Angeles.
But after the Thompsons were murdered in 1988 by a former business partner, the sport had no leader, and it went back to the desert."

Baja Racing Witness Report:

""I would estimate 500 people lining the rock pile. Im not a good
estimator but it was a lot. Maybe 100 vehicles.

Matt Torian and ESB mike were hurt. Dont "know" them per so but know who they are. One guy with us was an EMT. He went over to try and help the guy who took the bumper and his head was crushed open and just flat out dead.
He said the smell of brain and gear oil/atf/gas was the worst thing he has ever smelled.
One guy was ripped open clean in the center, guts out just like a scene from a war movie.
The whole thing was like a scene out of a war movie. Dead bodies and carnage. I am prettty sure not a single public servant/paramedic/doctor/emt was prepared for what they came upon.
They were asking for peoples tailgates/loading ramps etc becuase they were out of back boards. All I had was my 5 gallon jug of water, first aid kit and a packing blanket to give up. I showed some of the aftermath footage to some friends and they were completely blown away by the chaos and bodies/people strewn.""

Are you Brain Damaged Pat Dailey? Blames the Spectators, The Victims!:
"At least CNN is reporting the fact that there is rules in place for spectators to be so many feet off the course. The other networks can suck it."

From TacomaWorld:

Robert RZRob Said today:
"This link pretty much encapsulates what I saw I couldn't sleep last night. I just kept thinking how may people's lives are changed forever in the blink of a moment." RZ Rob

Latest Reports:

L.A. Times:
California 200 and other races foster dangerous 'Mad Max' atmosphere, critics say
August 15, 2010 | 2:42 pm

Environmental groups Sunday faulted federal authorities for allegedly failing to monitor the safety of Mojave Desert events such as the California 200 –- an off-road race in which eight people died when a vehicle crashed into onlookers.

Environmental groups said they have long complained that the Bureau of Land Management, which issued permits for the race in the Lucerne Valley area Saturday, lacks the adequate staff and ability to regulate off-roading events that attract large crowds.

“The feds have allowed a 'Mad Max' atmosphere to develop with too many people and too many machines crammed into too little space,” said Kieran Suckling, director of the Center for Biological Diversity, a nonprofit environmental protection group. “The feds don't have the resources, and apparently not the interest, to regulate off-road vehicles properly.”

Saturday’s crash was tragic, but inevitable, Suckling said.

“You can’t put these huge crowds together with fast and powerful machines and not expect these kinds of accidents,” he said. “Our collective failure to rein in excessive off-road vehicle use is not only destroying the ecosystem but killing people. The federal government clearly does not have the manpower to sufficiently organize and regulate these events, and if you don’t have the manpower to do it safely, you shouldn’t be doing it at all.”
Saturday’s accident occurred just after dusk, as a crowd of onlookers pushed to the edge of the racing route at the bottom of “the rock pile,” a jump along the twisting race route. According to the California Highway Patrol, driver Brett M. Sloppy, 28, lost control of his modified 2000 Ford Ranger while he was driving 45 to 50 miles per hour, and collided with spectators.

The 200-mile race is one in a series of such competitions in the Soggy Dry Lake area of the Mojave Desert, roughly 100 miles northeast of Los Angeles.

The Bureau of Land Management did not respond to criticism from environmentalists Sunday. But the agency said the Mojave Desert Racing Assn., which received the permit to stage the race, promised to have a private ambulance service on the scene and warned Barstow Community Hospital in advance that it planned to hold the event. The event was insured for up to $2 million.

“We will go over the permit with a fine-tooth comb and make sure that they complied with everything and see whether the application needs to be modified in the future,” said David Briery, a spokesman for the Bureau of Land Management. “Obviously, we don’t want anything like this to ever happen again.”

The bureau charged the company a $95 fee for Saturday’s race, plus an additional $5 for each spectator. The sponsor of the race has been staging events on federally owned stretches of the Mojave Desert for at least 11 years, holding six races each year, Briery said.

Tom Budlong, a member of the Sierra Club’s desert committee in Los Angeles, said federal authorities, particularly the Bureau of Land Management, failed to properly control events in the face of aggressive off-roading proponents.

“They just haven’t shown the fortitude,” Budlong said. “Off-roaders have a lot of clout, there are a lot of them and they like to do what they like to do.”

Budlong said Saturday’s accident should prompt a review and increased regulation.

“There needs to be a better permitting system, an educational component and drivers need to be licensed for off-roading events so that repeat offenders can be fined. There needs to be basic population control whenever these activities occur.”"

2 PM Sunday, August 15, 2010. "Brett Michael Sloppy, 28 of San Marcos", has been identified as the driver of the truck that killed eight people and maimed many more.

Officials said Sloppy, the driver, wasn't hurt. It was not clear why he lost control of the truck, a white modified Ford Ranger with "Misery Motorsports" painted on the doors.
CHP officer Joaquin Zubieta said Brett M. Sloppy, was behind the wheel of truck involved in the crash near the city of Lucerne Valley. Zubieta said alcohol was not a factor in the crash and there were no plans to arrest Sloppy.
Zubieta said state vehicle codes don't apply because it was a sanctioned racing event held with the approval of the federal Bureau of Land Management, which owns the land used for the race.
Tens of thousands of people were spread out along the 50-mile track, but the site of the crash, a stretch known as the "rockpile," is one of the most popular areas to gather, witnesses said.
Some witnesses said they got within 4 feet of the unmarked track, watching trucks fly through the air over a series of jumps.
The driver "hit the rock and just lost control and tumbled," said Matt March, 24, of Wildomar, who was standing next to the jump. "Bodies went everywhere."
March said he and several other fans lifted the truck, which came to rest with its oversized wheels pointing toward the sky, and found four people lying unconscious underneath.

""LUCERNE VALLEY, Calif. – An off-road truck sailed off a jump and hurtled into a rowd at a race in the California desert, pinning bodies beneath it and sending others flying into a chaotic cloud of dust in a crash that killed eight people, authorities and witnesses said Sunday.

Twelve people were injured in the crash that came shortly after the twilight start of the California 200 Saturday night in the Mojave Desert, said San Bernardino County sheriff's spokeswoman Cindy Bachman.

Witnesses said the driver took a jump in an area known as "the rockpile" at high speed, hit his brakes on landing and rolled sideways into a crowd of hundreds of people standing with no barriers next to the course.

"He hit the rock and just lost control and tumbled," said Matt March, 24, of Wildomar, who was standing next to the jump. "Bodies went everywhere."

March said he and several other fans lifted the truck, which came to rest with its oversized wheels pointing toward the sky, and found four people lying unconscious underneath.

At least seven of those killed were in their 20s, including 24-year-old Zachary Freeman of Fillmore, according to the San Bernardino County coroner.

Freeman's girlfriend Niky Carmikle, 19, said she had left Freeman and his best friend — 24-year-old Dustin Malson of Ventura, who also was killed — to go to the bathroom when the crash happened. When she returned she found the wild aftermath.

"Bodies all over the ground, people screaming, and all I wanted to do was find my boyfriend and my friends," Carmikle told The Associated Press. She stood and sobbed Sunday over a makeshift memorial on the spot of the crash: a small cross and a circle of rocks near the ruts in the ground left by the truck. Bags of victims' clothing, some of it bloody sat nearby.

Brian Wolfin, 27, and Anthony Sanchez, 23, both of Escondido died at the scene, and Aaron Farkas, 25, of Escondido died at a hospital. Also killed were Danica Frantzich, 20, of Las Vegas and Andrew Therrin, 22, of Riverside.

The eighth victim died in Riverside County, and no name has been released.

John Payne, 20, of Anaheim said he was among the first people to reach the truck. He said the victims included one person who was decapitated.

"It was complete chaos," Payne said.

It took rescue vehicles and helicopters more than half an hour to reach the remote location, and spectators including off-duty police and firefighters helped the injured and placed blankets over the dead.

Six people died at the scene and two others died after being taken to a hospital, authorities said. Seven ambulances and 10 emergency aircraft responded, airlifting most of the 12 injured people from the area to hospitals.

Paramedics brought six people — five adults and a child — to Loma Linda University Medical Center, spokesman Herbert Atienza said Sunday. He had no information on their condition.

Officials said the driver, whose name has not been released, wasn't hurt. It was not clear why he lost control of the truck. Phone and e-mail messages left for the organizer, South El Monte-based Mojave Desert Racing, were not immediately returned.

The 200-mile race is part of a series held in the Mojave Desert's Soggy Dry Lake Bed near the city of Lucerne Valley, 100 miles northeast of Los Angeles.

Tens of thousands of people attend the California 200, in which a variety of off-road vehicles take jumps and other obstacles and reach speeds of over 60 mph on a 50-mile off-road course that is essentially just raw, unmarked desert terrain.

The race had been scheduled to last through the night.

The crowd, which included children, was standing within 10 feet of the track. Fans said the "rockpile" is one of the most popular areas to stand because they can get close to cars as they launch into the air, and no guard rails hold them back.

"There were no barriers at all," Jeff Talbott, inland division chief for the California Highway Patrol, told the Riverside Press-Enterprise.

He said that the driver was forced to run from the scene when the crowd grew unruly and some began throwing rocks at him. Several witnesses said they didn't see anyone throwing rocks at the driver.

Fans said there are rarely any barriers or other safety guards at these races.

"That's desert racing for you," Payne said. "You're at your own risk out here. You are in the middle off the desert. People were way too close and they should have known. You can't really hold anyone at fault. It's just a horrible, horrible accident."

Carmikle said the danger is part of the appeal for many fans.

"You could touch it if you wanted to. It's part of the excitement," she said. "There's always that risk factor, but you just don't expect that it will happen to you."

The CHP does not normally investigate crashes at organized events, but took the lead on this probe because of its scope and had set up a command center at the starting line of the race.

The federal Bureau of Land Management was assisting in the investigation.

The crash was the latest in a series of race accidents that have proved deadly to spectators.

A car plowed into a crowd that had gathered to watch an illegal drag race on a suburban road in Accokeek, Maryland, in February 2008, killing eight people and injuring five. The two racers were charged with vehicular manslaughter. Darren Bullock, 22, was sentenced to 15 years in prison; Tavon Taylor, 20, is awaiting trial.

In Chandler, Ariz., in February, a female spectator was killed by a tire that flew off a crashing dragster at Chandler's Firebird International Raceway for the NHRA Arizona Nationals.

In Selmer, Tennessee, a dragster went out of control and smashed into spectators during a fundraising festival in June 2007, killing six people and injuring 22. Driver Troy Critchley, 38, was convicted of misdemeanor reckless assault charges and sentenced to 18 months probation.

Derek Laogali, 22, of San Pedro, said Saturday night was the first time he'd ever been to an off-road race, and he witnessed the horror up close.

"I seen people on the floor with broken bones, people with blankets over them. I'm guessing they were dead," Laogali said. "People were crying and screaming. It was a nightmare."""

Rob Wells from
Hesperia, California:

"My prayers go out to the families that lost loved ones, and to those that are injured. I didnt attend this race but my sister and her friends went. After seeing pictures and how bad this messed my sister up (She was standing with my wifes childhood friend who passed away and her sister when they were struck by the race truck) I can only imagine what others are going threw. We all need to stick together and realize this was a horrible accident and after everything settles make sure procautions are taken to make the sport as safe as possible.

Because in the end its the fans that got injured and lost there lives who went out to cheer on this sport last night and its what they would have wanted.

Rest In Peace my fellow fans. You will be extremely missed by all. We love you all."
The coverup goes Viral:
"(I) Am actually somewhat relieved that the only video anyone surrendered is from the top of the hill. From there you really can't see how bad it was. I know a lot of people have vids and pics. Please spread the word to everyone to NOT make that stuff public"

From Brett Sloppy's FACEBOOK:

LA Times Update:
""No charges have been filed against the off-road racer, whose identity has not been released by authorities. The driver had to be escorted away from the area after the crowd "started to get rowdy," Zubieta said. "People were upset."

The ages of those killed ranged from early 20s to late 40s. The names were withheld pending positive identification and notification of family.

The 200-mile race, held on desolate Soggy Dry Lake on federal desert land just east of the San Bernardino Mountains, was sanctioned by Mojave Desert Racing and was part of a seven-race circuit. Off-roaders race around the 50-mile-long loop four times, reaching speeds upward of 60 mph.

The white truck that plowed into the crowd remained at the scene, upside down, into the early-morning hours as CHP investigators crawled over the vehicle to search for any mechanical defects and to try to re-create the collision. Sponsorship decals plastered the sides of the truck.

The area was cordoned off with crime-scene tape through the night, and officers brought banks of lights to provide illumination as investigators combed the patch of desert. Officers continued to interview witnesses, competitors and race officials well into the early morning. Racing officials declined to comment about the incident.

The spot where the racer lost control was called the "rock pile.'' The track snakes between giant boulders and up a small hill -– sending many of the off-roaders airborne.

On Saturday, hundreds of spectators had been crowded around the site where the vehicle landed, some just a few feet from the main dirt track. Empty beer bottles and water bottles littered the area where the deadly collision occurred.

Because of the remote location, rescue units took more than half an hour to reach the racetrack, spurring spectators and racing officials to tend to the wounded and dying until help arrived.

The only way to reach the dry lake bed, a popular area for off-roaders, is a six-mile dirt road off California 247. Hundreds of camping vehicles were lined up around the track, housing both contestants and spectators.""

Matt Torian one of the injured: "Keep my son in your prayers ..He was one of spectalors injuried along with his co-driver Luke. 2 broken legs and an ankle, broke shoulder. He was air lifted to Palm Springs waiting on a specialist to see him"

California 200 Public Comment:
""It is said that the bodies have not yet been removed from the scene because there is a full scale investigation into this accident. There were some questionable things that the investigators found in the truck.""

Desert Racers and Witness Immediate Reaction: "The Driver did not flee do to an angry crowd, but in sheer disbelief in what happened he was standing behind us shaking very badly in shock. He and the co- driver are Physically OK!"

The Desert Racing Community begin the COVERUPS:

"Please DO NOT POST ANY VIDEOS of this tragic accident."

this is a comment from the msnbc site. these people need to understand this sport better, the news needs to get better facts!

""The drivers should be charged with murder.""

Regarding the MSNBC comment above: ""I'd suggest not re-publishing this type of comment. It's not part of the article and buried in a slew of other mis-informed but well-meaning comments.The public doesn't know an off-road race from a potato-sack race and all they are getting are the sensationalized aspects of what happened. We shouldn't acknowledge it other than to say that what has happened is a tragedy and anything else is speculation and serves no purpose but to enflame the uninitiated, sully our community and generally obscured the reality of the accident. This 'discussion' should be about our friends that were involved, not the news."

Mike Waller, a truck salesman said today:
"DO NOT POST ANYTHING OR GIVE IT TO ANY MEDIA! this should be kept private"

Before the Race Started:

On Misery Mototrsports Site: "2000 ford ranger xtra cab race truck, 2" and 1-3/4 120 wall d.o.m from front to rear Ron davis tt radiator 2006 6.0l Chevy ls2 , Edelbrock rpm intake manifold Edelbrock 650 cfm off road series carb around 550 hp motor is pushed back 8" full built th400 race tans, custom driveshaft Currie full fab 40 spline 9" with spool and with 5:13 gears"

Sloppy Said on August 11, 2010:
"1450 Class

1461 SLOPPY..."

Sloppy said on 7-29-2010:
"i dont give two shits what people say about my motor my truck or my suspension i feel i am in no way sandbaggin any class unless i have won a race in that class so there for im racing 1450 if i win a race i will step up to 1400 next season..the point of racing is to out do your competitors and try and win right?"

Sloppy said on 7-28-2010:
There was alot of spectators talking about where to go, like:
"Rockpile!!!! cant wait"

On spectating at the California 200 2010, Sloppy said:
"good place to watch is ant hill..i heard trucks huck off that"

On 7-15-2010 Jason Cagle Said:
"I will not be running this race but if anyone wants to bet I will put 100.00 on dave winning this race in 1450. Iam not talking shit on others but his truck and his driving are on top of there game right now, I got lucky he had a couple of issues at our last race but Iam pretty sure all that is taken care of now." Sloppy Responded ten minutes later: "muahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahaha"

Sloppy said on 7-11-2010:
"by the looks of the race info on mdr the race is starting at 7:30 this year instead of 7 like years before so pretty much the whole race will be dark so spectating at rockpile wont be as good but..i looked it up and i think it said sunset is at 7:36 pm so maybe the first 20 vehicles or so will have mild daylight"


8 dead, 12 hurt at off-road race in California Desert Race: California 200

By ANDREW DALTON (AP) AP Radio correspondent Shirley Smith in Washington contributed to this report.

[[First Reports indicate the driver fled the scene. BRN]]

AP/LOS ANGELES — An off-road truck plowed into a crowd and scattered "bodies everywhere" moments after sailing off a jump at a California race Saturday, killing eight people and leaving 12 injured, authorities and witnesses said.
The crash came shortly after the start of the 8 p.m. PDT race called the California 200, said San Bernardino County sheriff's spokeswoman Cindy Bachman.
Bachman said eight people died and 12 were injured, several of them seriously. Seven ambulances and 10 emergency aircraft responded to the scene. Most of the injured were airlifted from the area to Loma Linda University Medical Center or St. Mary's Medical Center.
"There was dust everywhere, people screaming, people running," David Conklin, a photographer covering the event for off-road magazines, told The Associated Press.
Conklin said the Prerunner truck was among the first 20 off the line in the race, and had just gone over a jump known as "the rockpile" about two miles into the race.
He said he watched the vehicle sail through the air. Then he turned to watch for other cars when he heard the commotion caused by the crash.
"When I got up to the vehicle I could tell that several people were trapped. There were just bodies everywhere."
Conklin said he "saw one woman with a major head wound lying in a pool of blood. Someone else was crushed beneath the car."
The truck came to a rest upside down with its oversized wheels pointing toward the sky.
Officials said the driver wasn't hurt but had to flee the scene to escape angry spectators.
The 200-mile race is part of a series held in Soggy Dry Lake Bed near the city of Lucerne Valley in the Mojave Desert, 100 miles northeast of Los Angeles.
Tens of thousands of people attend the California 200, in which a variety of off-road vehicles take jumps and other obstacles and reach speeds up to 100 mph on the 50-mile off-road course. The race had been scheduled to last through the night.
The crowd was standing within 10 feet of the track with no guard rails separating them from the speeding vehicles.
"There were no barriers at all," Jeff Talbott, inland division chief for the California Highway Patrol, told the Riverside Press-Enterprise.
He said that the driver, who wasn't named, was forced to run from the scene when the crowd grew unruly and some began throwing rocks at him. It was not clear why he lost control of the truck.
The CHP does not normally investigate crashes at organized races, but took the lead on this probe because of its scope and had set up a command center at the starting line of the race.
The federal Bureau of Land Management was assisting in the investigation.
The event was sponsored by the South El Monte-based Mojave Desert Racing. No one picked up the phone at a number listed on the group's website early Sunday, and its message mailbox was full.
The crash was the latest in a series of race accidents that have proved deadly to spectators.
A car plowed into a crowd that had gathered to watch an illegal drag race on a suburban road in Accokeek, Maryland, in February 2008, killing eight people and injuring five. The two racers were charged with vehicular manslaughter. Darren Bullock, 22, was sentenced to 15 years in prison; Tavon Taylor, 20, is awaiting trial.
In Chandler, Ariz., in February, a female spectator was killed by a tire that flew off a crashing dragster at Chandler's Firebird International Raceway for the NHRA Arizona Nationals.
In Selmer, Tennessee, a dragster went out of control and smashed into spectators during a fundraising festival in June 2007, killing six people and injuring 22. Driver Troy Critchley, 38, was convicted of misdemeanor reckless assault charges and sentenced to 18 months probation.

Officials confirmed that eight people died and 12 were injured in the Lucerne Valley area Saturday when the driver of an off-road vehicle plowed into a crowd.
Authorities believe the driver lost control of the vehicle during some type of race at a dry lake bed. [Updated at 12:00 a.m.: The accident occurred at the California 200 race, one of a series of local offroad matches in the area.]
Fire dispatch supervisor Tim Franke said the accident was reported at 7:48 p.m. at Soggy Dry Lake Bed, a popular off-road spot. "It's unknown what kind of event was going on out there," he said.
Franke said at least four people were seriously injured and were taken by air ambulance to nearby trauma centers.
He said it was not yet clear how the accident occurred or whether the driver was among the injured or dead.
The Lucerne Valley and surrounding desert areas is considered a mecca for off-road racing, with numerous pro races through the year. Videos of previous events show vehicles speeding by rows of spectators, with thin barriers between them.
[Updated, 12:32 a.m.: The California 200 night race in the Lucerne Valley area, off Bessemer Mine Road, was promoted by MDR Productions of South El Monte. A flyer listed on a website indicated that fees to enter the race ranged from $200 to $440.

According to the website, the race was scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m., and involved four 50-mile laps, with a time limit of 7-1/2 hours. A registration list showed that 87 drivers had registered for the race.]"

Another Report:

"Eight people were killed and 12 injured after a vehicle rammed into a crowd of spectators during an off-road race in California.
One of the cars in the California 200 race ploughed into the crowd at high speed after careering over a jump just half-an-hour after the start Saturday night, the Daily Mail reported.
[["The driver was thought to be among the dead."]] Other victims were crushed beneath the car.
The race was being held in Soggy Dry Lake Bed near the city of Lucerne Valley, 160 km northeast of Los Angeles.
David Conklin, a photographer who was covering the event, said the car had been among the first 20 off the line and had just gone over a jump called the 'rockpile'.
'I heard screaming and shouting', he said. 'I saw one woman with a major head wound lying in a pool of blood. Someone else was crushed beneath the car.'
Seven ambulances were sent to the scene, a fire official said.
Tens of thousands go to watch the California 200, where dune buggy-style cars leap jumps and other obstacles around and off-road course. There is little or no barrier between the spectators and the cars as they career around the course.
Off-road racing is a format of racing where various classes of specially modified vehicles (including cars, motorcycles and buggies) compete in races through off-road environments."

From the PlayBill:

"Mojave Desert Racing Event
Name: California 200 (Night Race)
Date: Saturday, August 14, 2010
Drivers Meeting: 6:30 PM
Line Up: 7:00 PM
Race Time: 7:30 PM
Location: Lucerne Valley, CA
Start/Finish: Off Bessemer Mine Road at Soggy Dry Lake
Course: A
Course Length: 50 Miles
Number of Laps: 4
3 Laps for Classes: 300, 900, 12-Unlimited, 1200, 1300, 1450, 1700, 3700
2 Laps for Classes: 1100, 1900
Time Limit: 7.5 Hours"

Brett Sloppy deleted his video from public view, WHY? Guilt removal!
Misery Motorsports Video From Easter 2010:


Below is a video news report, not in English, but it does show the tragic scene after the crash.

We offer our deepest condolences to the victim's families, and hope those injured make a full recovery.



  1. Anonymous8:19 PM

    Who wrote this piece of crap... who ever it was needs their ass kicked. There was no recklessness, no malice and nothing but sportsmanship and the best intentions. It was a tragic event, all we can do is improve the venue for safety. Vilifying the racers for not slowing down is just stupid. If you know anything about this kind of racing the spectators take a lot of risks, just look at zoo road in mexico. This was an accident waiting to happen if not in here, then in Mexico. I wouldn't stand where those spectators did, but if you would you would be placing yourself at risk to death or injury. If you don't have the sense to care of yourself I guess you try to rely on the all protective nanny state.

  2. Anonymous8:20 PM

    Who wrote this piece of crap... who ever it was needs their ass kicked. There was no recklessness, no malice and nothing but sportsmanship and the best intentions. It was a tragic event, all we can do is improve the venue for safety. Vilifying the racers for not slowing down is just stupid. If you know anything about this kind of racing the spectators take a lot of risks, just look at zoo road in mexico. This was an accident waiting to happen if not in here, then in Mexico. I wouldn't stand where those spectators did, but if you would you would be placing yourself at risk to death or injury. If you don't have the sense to care of yourself I guess you try to rely on the all protective nanny state.

  3. Anonymous6:29 PM

    Nice comment. Now just leave a time and place for your ass to be kicked, Mr. Anonymous.

    You said, "There was no recklessness, no malice and nothing but sportsmanship and the best intentions." Your comment is not based in facts.

    The driver of the murderous truck was driving with any regard to safety and against the the standing race rules. FACT.

    It was tragic. But tragically reckless, by the BLM, by the race organizer and the driver of the truck, that lost control and killed and hurt so many innocent fans of the sport we all love.

    The sport, now so damaged by the events at the California 200.

    Gary Newsome, Editor

  4. Anonymous9:38 AM

    he wasnt reckless at all... he was driving the same speed as everyone else. his steerin blew out and the truck rolled. its offroad racing, its expected... dumb mother fuckers were touching the bedsides as it went by.. are u kidding me, abunch of morons.... its MDR's fault for not forcing the croud back 100 ft like it clearly said in the rules. not the racer's fault... u think in nascar if a moron went out on the track and got himself killed it would be the nascar driver to blame? no, sincerely fuck you what ever dumb ignorant piece of shit wrote this... i hope you go get yourself killed because your dumber then people who stand on the edge of a race track...

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