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VIDEO -Loprais on fatal accident: “We didn’t notice anything”

The images show that the driver couldn’t see the fan behind the dune: “We only heard about the accident at the night bivouac. I'm very sorry. The memory of this accident will accompany me for a lifetime.”

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A terrible accident shocked the Dakar. Yesterday, an Italian spectator (his personal details have not yet been disclosed due to ongoing investigations) died after being hit by a truck. The fan was standing behind a dune, probably taking a photo. The truck driver, Aleš Loprais, did not see him and did not even notice that he had hit him.

The Italian died a few hours later, while being transferred to the hospital. Loprais learned of the tragedy only last night at the bivouac.

Aleš posted a video (see above) on his Facebook page, explaining what happened. There are also images of the accident, which show that he could not see the fan, and did not realize what had happened.

I received very sad news at the night bivouac. We were already in bed when the Dakar stewards showed us a video of an accident during the race. We accidentally hit a man who was behind a dune taking a photo of us. After  two, three hours, he started to feel nauseous and had a heart attack while being transported to the hospital. A human life died indirectly because of me, because I was driving. My team and I knew nothing of what had happened. We have videos on board and from outside to prove it, but that doesn't change anything in the face of a death. The man was Italian, but I don’t know his name at the moment due to the investigation. He was a 69-year-old fan who had come to see the Dakar and, unfortunately, was behind a dune. We didn’t seen him at all, none of us. I want to express my sincere condolences to his family and friends. I’m very sorry for this accident, and its memory will stay with me for the rest of my life.


Translated by Leila Myftija

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