A spectator is dead and two people are injured after an accident this morning during the car section of the race, prompting the rest of the event to be cancelled.
A few minutes ago police said a competition vehicle “appeared to have left the track and has struck two spectators.
“A male in his sixties had died at the scene. We also have second male in his fifties who has serious injuries and he is being medivaced to Royal Adelaide hospital tomorrow.”
A woman in her fifties received minor injuries. She is believe to be the navigator of the vehicle.
At the time of the accident no bikes had left Finke, while some cars were diverted. The bike section was canceled and yesterdays results stand.
Police have cordoned off the area and are investigating, they are calling for witnesses.
Tonight’s presentation event has also been cancelled.
At 9:38am police received a report of a group of spectators being struck by a vehicle 35km from the start/finish line.
Police said they were in contact with relatives of the man who died and no name was released.
Competitors have been diverted from the area, which has been declared a crime scene.
Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the cause of the incident and calling for any spectators who may have witnessed the incident, or have dash cam or video footage – to contact police immediately on 131 444.
For decades the Finke organisers have conducted campaigns during the year, known as “don’t be the one” and encouraging drivers and spectators to avoid harm among the thousands of spectators along the track.
– Oscar Perri & Erwin Chlanda
By OSCAR PERRI
Toby Price (centre) has become the first person in Finke history take out both the bike and car event, with a narrow win after some car troubles late in the race this morning.
They won’t be able to find out what went wrong until later in the week, but the six time bike champion says his dashboard lit up with lights telling him something was wrong as they got close to Alice Springs.
Around the same time, they saw headlights in the rear view mirror, second placed Josh Howell had made excellent time and caught up, so Price decided to go for broke.
“I was just trying to look after the engine as much as I could, but once we were about 60 km out I thought if we don’t go now, it’s not going to work.
“Sometimes it’s nearly better to a fail than to not cross the line where you want to be.”
Price says he’ll be back next year to try for a back to back win with the new car.
Howell was the fastest to complete the return trip, and fell just one minute and 19 seconds short of the winning total time.
He says Price impressed him by winning in his first race with a new car, and is not sure how he’ll be able to get the edge over him in the future.
“I knew he had issues and I was just hoping they were bad enough to keep him from putting the foot down, but good on him, he deserves it.”
PHOTO from Facebook showing emergency services near the accident scene.