Dakar driver disqualified after hitting spectator [Video]
A Dakar truck driver has been disqualified for failing to stop after striking a suspector during the fifth stage of the marathon on Friday.
Kamaz driver Andrey Karginov was headed toward a group of five spectators who were situated outside of the permitted spectator zone. The fans quickly ran as the truck approached, only for one to fall. Karginov ran over the spectators legs and failed to stop.
Officials confirmed a 60-year-old South African spectator suffered a broken femur and he was transported to a local airport, where he was airlifted to Arequipa hospital.
The #518 entry of Karginov, mechanic Igor Leonov and navigator Andrey Mokeev have been disqualified from the event. They were third at the end of the fifth stage.
"The competitor was excluded from the rally by the jury of commissioners for not stopping to attend the injured spectator," a statement confirmed.
Kamaz team boss Vladimir Chagin called the decision to disqualify the entry "very harsh" and said they were unaware that a spectator had been struck until they were informed at the end of the stage.
"There's a lot spectators on the route, and in the most difficult parts there's always particularly many of them, spread out in various groups.
"As he [Karginov] was driving up one of the ascents, there was a group of five spectators in the path of the truck. Four managed to clear off but one tripped in the sand and his leg was caught under the rear wheel of the truck.
"Andrey naturally didn't see this - it was an ascent and all you can see through the windshield is the sky and the top of the mountain – so he only found out about the accident upon arriving to the bivouac.
"It was investigated by the commissioners and, much to our surprise, the organisers made the very harsh decision to disqualify the crew.
"We're very surprised by the decision, but we can't protest it here, only after the race has wrapped up. So we have to accept it and continue with three crews."