20 Victims in California Off-Road Race

Eight people were killed and 12 were wounded when a vehicle plowed into a crowd at a popular off-road race in the Southern California desert.

The accident happened around 8pm yesterday at the California 200 race, 12 people were injured and several very seriously. Most of them airlifted from the place of accident to Loma Linda University Hospital.

The race was held in Soggy Dry Lake near the city of Lucerne Valley in the Mojave Desert, 100 miles north-east of LA.

David Conklin, a photographer covering the event for several off-road magazines, said the vehicle was among the first 20 off the line in the race, and had just gone over a jump known as “the rockpile”.

Conklin said he watched the vehicle sail through the air and had turned to wait for the next one when he heard the commotion.

“I heard screaming and shouting,” said Conklin, who ran toward the vehicle. “I saw one woman with a major head wound lying in a pool of blood. Someone else was crushed beneath the car.”

Thousands of people attended the California 200, where dune buggy-style vehicles take jumps and other obstacles on the off-road course. People stand next to the track with little or no barrier between them and vehicles.

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