LOS ANGELES -- A competitor killed in a roll-over accident
during a Baja California road race was not wearing a seat belt,
race authorities said Tuesday.
Chris Lokken, 31, of Carlsbad, was a rider in a buggy that had a
transmission breakdown around the 196th mile of the Tecate SCORE
500 off-road rally early Sunday shortly after midnight. He had no
radio communication but flagged down a passing truck that was
competing in another race class while the buggy driver remained
behind, SCORE officials said.
"They agreed to drive him to the next checkpoint ... and they
could get assistance," race spokesman Dominic Clark said.
Lokken sat behind the seats inside the stretched cab -- and area
without a seat or seatbelt. He wore his helmet but it was
unbuckled, SCORE Chief Executive Officer Sal Fish said.
The truck was about a mile away from the checkpoint when the
course went up a steep hill.
The truck couldn't make it up. It backed up to make another try
but in doing so went over the side, rolling over and over down a
100-yard ravine, Fish said.
Lokken was thrown from the truck and his helmet came off. He
died at the scene of head and internal injuries, Clark said.
The other two people in the truck were wearing helmets and
seatbelts and were not hurt.
"It's a very bizarre incident. Nothing like this has ever
happened," Clark said.
It was the 39th running of the desert race.