• Jan 4th 2010 at 7:59AM
  • 17
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]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Darwin's theory at work.
        • 5 Years Ago
        who said we are celebrating? Why should I (or anyone else) have a bleeding heart for someone too stupid to care about their own safety?

        I like F1 racing - but I don't try to run out on the track to get some "really cool pictures" do i? I don't suppose you've seen the videos of some rally races that go on in those 3rd world countries have you? Just a few hundred feet before the car itself people are crowded into the street and only move at the last possible second, (for some excitement? I dont know)

        It's not like this person was sitting waiting for a bus, or drinking some tea reading their paper, they knew exactly what they were getting into. To reiterate I don't celebrate a death, I celebrate one less retarded person in the world making life difficult for the rest of us who have a bit of common sense.

        Maybe my reply is too dark - if so look at it this way, he/she died doing what they loved. Get a broom push them out from the wheel well and keep going. :)
      • 5 Years Ago
      While at the blame-storming game, what about the race organizers?
      Sounds like they need to get a few more dudes on quads with bull horns out there to remind the crowds where the safety zones are.
        • 5 Years Ago
        so you were there? You saw how well organized and clearly marked the course was? You saw how stupid and aggressive the crowd was?
        I was simply raising the question of another piece to the puzzle, not blaming anyone.
        Which seems to be your specialty - o angry one.
        • 5 Years Ago
        ASO (and Argentinian police) have gone to greath lengths to insure spectators know where to stand, but it doesnt help when they ignore the warnings. Like one driver said, there are spectators that try and touch the cars as they go by.

        Don't be stupid and stand in a stupid place where you might get hurt and you will not. It's a very simple rule that the majority of all the hundreds of thousands that follow the event live understand perfectly.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I hate to say it, but she got what was coming to her - as did the other 4 spectators who were injured.

      Anyone with the least bit of intelligence wouldn't go stand in the middle of the Daytona 500 would they? They wouldn't watch a drag race from the middle of the 1/4 mile would they? So what are these idiots doing in the middle of an off-road racetrack? Best case scenario, they're slowing the competitors down as they try to avoid running down the spectators. Worst case scenario, we have what happened here.

      Next thing you know, the families will sue the racer, the event, and the vehicle's manufacturer for whatever made-up reason their lawyer can dream up. And then an idiot jury will side with the "victims", and then an idiot judge will award millions. What is this world coming to???
        • 5 Years Ago
        who ever said anything about victims?
        All the news articles I have read have been extremely neutral, not blaming the driver or the hurt and killed. Everyone seems to be objectively reporting that the driver lost control and people were where they should not have been.
        Except you - who has instantly assumed the driver is the victim.
        • 5 Years Ago
        he lost control of his truck dude, and they were where they were not supposed to be.

        Why all the hate for the people that got hurt or died?

        This was a tragedy, for the driver and the people hurt and killed. No reason to start hating on anyone for this.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I wonder how this is breaking news... since it happened 4 days ago and was widely published elsewhere
        • 5 Years Ago
        typical Autoblog - they consider this a car site, and not a race news site, so they always report race related stuff REALLY late.
      • 5 Years Ago
      @geoff: hope you never make a mistake or have to read hateful comments about your daughter if she dies after having made a mistake.
      • 5 Years Ago
      @JDM Life, ropeburn
      "..........Schultis is reported to have lost control of his car at a bend in the first leg of the race and ploughed into a group of spectators."

      drivers fault, even if they were not supposed to be there - he lost control of his car.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Was this a team support truck? Or a racer?
      If either of these, what team was it???!!!!
      Or, was it an event support truck?
      Wow, this article really lacks ANY details!!
      • 5 Years Ago
      indeed.... no surprise here. Sorry for the people who will miss her but
      the fans get sooooooo damn close to the course and ON the course
      that it's a miracle that more people are not run down.
      • 5 Years Ago
      From what I read, this particular spectator wasn't standing in one of the safety zones, but outside. Always best to have a sturdy tree to duck behind, if one is available.

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