Spectator killed in seventh stage of Dakar Rally

Not surprisingly, tragedy has struck at the Dakar Rally this year. A vehicle hit a spectator in the seventh stage of the rally on Saturday, along the stretch between Uyuni, Bolivia, and Salta, Argentina. Running in 52nd place, the Mitsubishi Lancer driven by French contestant Lionel Baud hit a 63-year-old spectator. Emergency medical personnel responded to the accident, only to declare the man dead on the scene.

This was the second time a competing vehicle collided with spectators in this year's event. During the Prologue stage a week ago, Guo Meiling drove her Mini into a crowd of spectators, injuring eleven – including a father and son who were hospitalized in critical condition. This is the first time, however, that a death occurred as part of the rally since 2013, when a support vehicle collided with two taxis in Peru and killed two.

Though still in progress, this year's rally has been dominated thus far by the Peugeot team. All but the opening Prologue stage have been won by the French team, with Sebastien Loeb winning three out of six full stages run so far. His teammate Stéphane Peterhansel has won another two, while Carlos Sainz won the tragic seventh stage on Saturday. Following Sunday's rest day, there remain another six stages before the rally concludes in Rosario on January 16.

More Information