A rally race in France ended in a tragedy this weekend, when a driver missed his turn and hit a crowd of people. Two deaths were reported, with 17 injured including a race marshall and several children, according to the BBC.

Four of the injuries were deemed "serious," and the scope of the accident overwhelmed rescue services, according to the report. The driver was also injured, and is in the custody of the police, who have launched an investigation, according to iafrica.com.

The Pays des Maures race was being held in Southern France, with the accident occurring on Saturday afternoon near Toulon, according to the BBC.

Scroll down to see a TV report on the accident, in French.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 24 Comments
      Jeff Helgeson
      • 2 Years Ago
      Just read on Jalopnik that the car likely had a mechanical failure and the spectators were standing in a runoff area, which he reasonably assumed should be free of spectators and thus a safe place to controllably ditch the car. It's a tragedy but I've always wondered why this type of thing doesn't happen more often in rally.
      Karl T
      • 2 Years Ago
      In 18 seasons as an SCCA F&C worker (corner marshal), it never ceases to amaze me what spectators will do if left to their own devices.
      MONTEGOD7SS
      • 2 Years Ago
      I was with you until "is in the custody of police". In custody for what, wrecking a race car? I would say something negative about France, but I won't. Or did I already?
      Mark Stearns 
      • 2 Years Ago
      I've also been shocked by how close spectators can be to the race course and allowed to congregate in what would be the most dangerous part of a curve. I love motorsports but I'd never set a lawn chair at the end of a long straight to see the pros brake late and kick dirt and dust all over me. Maybe the fans were in a "safe" area and just got unlucky.... and that's sad if that's how it went down.
      svt2888
      • 2 Years Ago
      Am I the only one wondering why there is a huge rock that seems to have gone through the windshield?
      IBx27
      • 2 Years Ago
      The reason why he's in jail is because this is France.
        rjstanford
        • 2 Years Ago
        @IBx27
        The reason that he's in custody is that, until an initial ruling is made, all that is known for sure is that he directly killed two people. He's probably not at fault, and will be released (and I hope he is, and quickly), but its not unreasonable for France to detain him until such a ruling can be made. If the crowd wasn't supposed to be there, nobody will be liable. If the race organizers told them that it was alright to be there, the organizers wil be liable. If it turns out that the driver ignored safety warnings, he'd be liable. Its a little too early to make a determination yet.
      in Tyler we trust
      • 2 Years Ago
      Anyone remember Group B racing? If you don't then youtube it. Racing now is much safer than it ever has been.
      Maddoxx
      • 2 Years Ago
      2 people are dead with several more injured keep the driver in custody just like any other person in a hit and run fatality. You shouldn't have to die while spectating a sport. Spectator and race participant safety is number 1 above anything else. If the rules need to be changed to keep people safe and alive so be it
        Acefighter
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Maddoxx
        Um...what? Do you have any idea what rally racing is? Racing in general is not safe, and only a fool would think simply changing the rules would keep everyone safe. The people standing on the sidelines watching knew what the risks were and choose do it anyway. How about let let people accept responsibility for their OWN CHOICES, ok?
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Acefighter
          [blocked]
          Skwisgaar
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Acefighter
          @Nick Racing is safe? Really? Were you in a hole for all those deaths in other motorsports? Marco Simonceli? Dan Wheldon? Ayrton Senna? Several spectators have been killed in the Indy 500 and F1, the 80+ deaths in the 1955 24hr Le Mans. Racing is not safe, why is one of the best motorsports getting all the flak for it?
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        k_m94
        • 2 Years Ago
        And yet the driver got charged... what, with racing?
      Bob
      • 2 Years Ago
      Liberal comment: We need to ban rally racing! It serves no purpose. I want to control everything in a chaotic world because I'm scared of my shadow. They should walk instead of drive and wear bubble wrap with baby on board signs taped to their butts. Conservative comment: Stand that close to cars wizzing by and that could happen. It's called life. Those people were living and it is tragic of course, but in no way should what makes rally so great be changed. Thousands have seen these races and been fine. Now pick. Which kind of tool are you?
        IBx27
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Bob
        I see no toolishness in the conservative version.
      Drakkon
      • 2 Years Ago
      For the record, the french authorities could have broken mark webbers neck after his mercedes went airborne at LeMans. Before he was even safely out of the car some 'cop' grabbed his face and had him blow a breathalyzer. Custody doesn't always mean you are going to be charged with something. Best case scenerio planning is no way to watch a rally either. The cars only crash on youtube. They never crash when I go to the race.
      Acefighter
      • 2 Years Ago
      So they were overwhelmed by 17 people hurt? How? Weren't they prepared for just such a possibility? Back when the P-51 crashed at the Reno air races, there was a LOT more people than that hurt, and while I'm sure things were highly chaotic, by all accounts, they did a terrific job handling the large amount of casualties.
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