Deadly Calif. Off-Road Race Crash Suit Settled for $5.8 Million

Wednesday, Dec 18, 2013  |  Updated 4:58 PM PDT
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8 Dead in Tragic Off-Road Crash


Workers push an overturned off-road race truck upright Sunday, Aug. 15, 2010 after it went out of control and ran into a crowd of spectators during a race in Lucerne Valley, Calif., on Saturday. At least eight people were killed during the incident about 100 miles east of Los Angeles.(AP Photo/Francis Specker)


A lawyer says an agreement has been reached to pay $5.8 million to the families of eight people killed and 12 injured in a California desert off-road race crash.

Attorney Katherine Harvey-Lee said Wednesday an agreement was reached in mediation with federal government lawyers.

Harvey-Lee says the agreement still must be approved by the Department of Justice and signed off by a judge. She says she represents three injured spectators and the father of one of those killed.

Under the agreement, she says the Bureau of Land Management would pay $4.825 million and race organizers and promoters would pay their $1 million insurance policy limit.

A message was left for the BLLM seeking comment.

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Local Men Among 8 Dead in Tragic Off-Road Crash

Three men from Escondido are among the dead in a devastating crash that killed eight and injured 12 others when an out-of-control pickup truck plowed into a crowd in the Mojave Desert.

8 Dead in Tragic Off-Road Crash

The off-road truck sailed off a jump and hurtled into the crowd, pinning bodies beneath it and sending others flying into a chaotic cloud of dust in a crash.
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The deadly racing crash occurred in August 2010 in the Mojave Desert when a modified Ford Ranger truck crashed through spectators at the California 200 desert race. The truck hurled over a jump and struck a group of fans, pinning some underneath the vehicle, while sending others flying into a cloud of dust.

Of the eight spectators killed, four victims were from San Diego: Michael Dickinson, 34, of Spring Valley; Escondido resident Brian Wolfin, 27; Escondido resident Anthony Sanchez; 23; and Escondido resident Aaron Farkas, 25.

Several more spectators were injured in the horrific crash.

The crowd, which included children, was standing within 10 feet of the track with no guardrails separating them from the speeding vehicles, an investigation revealed.

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In the wake of the deadly accident, California’s U.S. senators pressed the Bureau of Land Management to provide data on off-road racing on public lands, including safety violations in past races.

In November 2010, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management determined that its staff had failed to follow established procedures for permitting and monitoring the off-road race in the Mojave Desert.

An internal review found BLM Staff in Barstow, Calif., did not hold a pre-race consultation with race promoters. Additionally, a ranger assigned to patrol the area did not monitor the event, the investigation revealed.

NBC 7 San Diego/ Associated Press

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