The Dakar Rally Raid is one of the brightest events in motorsport, but at the same time very dangerous for both its participants and spectators.

Since 1979, when the first marathon took place, almost 80 people have died during the races.

Alas, this year was not without a fatality.

The tragedy happened on the ninth special stage from Harad to Shaiba (the fourth time the rally takes place in Saudi Arabia).

Aleš Loprais, the leader of the overall standings of trucks, was overcoming another sand dune, on top of which the fans were located.

However, one of them, perhaps hoping to make a more effective shot of the equipment soaring up, turned out to be too close to the track along which the cars were moving, and at the same time fell into a blind zone for the pilot.

Therefore, the Czech calmly drove through the obstacle, not even noticing that a man got under his wheels.

The footage taken from the cab at the time of the incident, which was made public later, shows how much the car was shaking, so that the moment of impact could be easily confused with hitting another stone or bump.

The spectator, after a collision with a truck, tried to get up and he succeeded.

However, after a few hours, the victim became ill, he was called for medical assistance, but during the evacuation in a helicopter, the man died of a heart attack.

Loprais found out about the incident after passing the special stage.

According to the pilot, the team had already gone to bed when the commissars woke everyone up and showed the video of the fatal collision.

The incident shocked the Czech.

The drama of the situation was added by the fact that on January 10 Alyosh celebrated his birthday.

He is 43 years old.

“Human life has been de facto destroyed by my actions.

But I have to say that I didn't know about it.

None of the crew knew.

We have onboard and external video cameras to prove it.

However, this will not change the fact that human life has died out.

It was an Italian, but I don't even know his name yet.

A 69-year-old fan who came to watch the Dakar.

I want to express my most sincere condolences to his family and friends.

This tragic incident will haunt me for the rest of my life,” Loprais said on social media.

According to the rules of the race, the team was waiting for disqualification, because in the event of such an accident, the truck must stop and provide assistance to the victim, and not continue moving.

Nevertheless, many were inclined to believe that the Czech could be allowed to continue the performance, since there was no fault of the pilot in the death of the fan.

He was driving clearly along a given trajectory and did not notice a collision.

However, it seems that Loprais did not wait for a verdict from the organizers of the rally-raid and, according to a number of media reports, withdrew from the Dakar.

However, there has been no official confirmation of this yet.

According to the press service of the stage race, the Czech missed the tenth stage due to the ongoing investigation of the incident.

Surprisingly, accidents with spectators, local residents and accompanying persons over the years of the rally-raid have happened more often than with its participants.

At the moment, taking into account what happened in Saudi Arabia, 46 such deaths have been recorded.

For comparison, 32 riders died during the Dakar, 22 of which were motorcyclists.

First of all, incidents happen because of the fans themselves, leaving the areas reserved for them, although the organizers constantly warn of imminent danger and even write about it on the tickets.

The previous tragedy occurred in 2016 in Bolivia.

The crew of the Frenchman Lionel Baud shot down a 65-year-old man who ended up in an isolated area near the ski jump.

The ambulance did not have time to get to the victim, he died on the spot.

In 2010, a woman died on the first special stage of the rally raid.

SUV German Marko Shultis turned off course and flew into the crowd of fans.

Four more spectators ended up in the hospital with injuries, and the 28-year-old Argentine could not be saved.

Not without incidents involving Russian crews.

In 2019, a KAMAZ-master truck driven by Andrey Karginov ran over a South African citizen who stood in an unprotected area.

At that time, fortunately, everything ended only with a hip fracture, but the pilot was still disqualified.

Occurred on the "Dakar" and much more unusual cases.

In 2012, in Argentina, a father and his 11-year-old son died while watching the race from the air - their plane crashed.

Thierry Sabin, the founder of the Paris-Dakar marathon, also died in a plane crash during a rally-raid.

In January 1986, a helicopter carrying several other people crashed due to a sudden sandstorm in Mali.