Rules Not Heeded in Deadly Calif. Race

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    Workers push an overturned off-road race truck upright after it went out of control and ran into a crowd of spectators during a race in Lucerne Valley. At least eight people were killed during the incident about 100 miles east of Los Angeles.

    The U.S. Bureau of Land Management said Friday its staff failed to follow established procedures for permitting and monitoring an off-road race in which eight spectators were killed in the Mojave Desert, including four San Diegans.

    An internal review found BLM staff in the Barstow, Calif., field office did not hold a pre-race consultation with race promoters.

    Furthermore, a ranger assigned to patrol the area did not monitor the Aug. 14 event in which a competing truck plowed into spectators crowded along the course.

    The review does not specify who was responsible for permitting the event or whether that person faced any repercussion for not following agency procedures.

    Local Men Among 8 Dead in Tragic Off-Road Crash

    [DGO] 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.

    BLM Director Bob Abbey said the agency has taken steps to improve oversight of recreational events. He said he also instructed staff at all field offices to follow procedures aimed at ensuring safety at those events.

    "My clear directive is: if our field offices cannot fulfill or complete all the required steps in authorizing this event, then no permit will be issued," Abbey said in a statement.

    Four San Diegans were among the eight people killed when a pickup truck plowed into a crowd of onlookers during the Mojave Desert race.

    Spring Valley resident Michael Dickinson, 34, and Escondido residents Brian Wolfin, 27, Anthony Sanchez, 23 and Aaron Farkas, 25 died in the crash that came shortly after the twilight start of the California 200.

    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 that killed eight people, authorities and witnesses said Sunday. Twelve people were injured in the crash.

    It took rescue vehicles and helicopters more than half an hour to reach the remote location, and spectators including off-duty police and firefighters helped the injured and placed blankets over the dead.

    Brett Sloppy, 28, from San Marcos was driving the modified Ford Ranger that slammed into an area where hundreds of spectators were standing, according to the California Highway Patrol. The crowd, which included children, was standing within 10 feet of the track with no guardrails separating them from the speeding vehicles.