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Feds to Probe Desert Racing Incident that Left 8 Dead, but will Host Larger Race this Weekend

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Bystanders rush to help a victim, center, pinned under the overturned truck moments after it plowed into a crowd and scattered "bodies everywhere" after sailing off a jump at the California 200 off road race on Saturday Aug. 14 in Lucerne Valley.


Bystanders rush to help a victim, center, pinned under the overturned truck moments after it plowed into a crowd and scattered "bodies everywhere" after sailing off a jump at the California 200 off road race on Saturday Aug. 14 in Lucerne Valley.
Just one week after a San Bernardino County desert race that ended with a fatal crash, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will oversee similar event that has a group of government employees concerned.

The Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) says the 534-mile Vegas-to-Reno Race scheduled for this weekend will be even harder to monitor than last week's deadly California 200.

“Just like last weekend, this race has high danger risk and is nearly impossible to patrol, but BLM puts its head in the sand during every one of these big events,” stated Southwest PEER Director Daniel Patterson, an ecologist who formerly worked with BLM in the Mojave Desert. “As Stacy Antilla’s experience last year demonstrated, these off-road races can go wrong but BLM has simply looked the other way.”

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PEER says Antilla last year "resigned in frustration, after her efforts to properly plan and mitigate the damage resulting from the Vegas-to-Reno [off road vehicle] race were thwarted by her own agency management."

This weekend, BLM will rely on drivers to monitor their speeds and avoid coming close to spectators, BLM Manager Tom Seley told PEER.

Meanwhile, BLM officials have launched a review of the California 200 crash on Saturday night that left eight dead in San Bernardino County. A truck participating in the race lost control and ran into the crowd. Officials say they will now review all races on public lands in California.