Casualties are nothing new in the history of the Dakar Rally, and unfortunately the 2010 event has already claimed a life. During the opening stage of the 32nd running of the 9,000-kilometer race this weekend, 28 year-old Natalia Sonia Gallardo was struck and killed by a truck being driven by Mirco Schultis. As a result of large crowds along the route, Gallardo was reportedly standing in an unauthorized area where spectators were not supposed to be and police did nothing to stop people from gathering there.

The 16 day rally starts and ends in Buenos Aires, Argentina again this year. The rally then winds across South America into Chile. Last year, the race was moved from Africa to South America after terrorist threats caused the 2008 race to be canceled. Over the three-decade history of the race, more than 50 competitors and spectators have died.

[Source: The Globe and Mail]