Off-Road Truck Plows Into Crowd, Killing 8

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Off-Road Truck Plows Into Crowd, Killing 8

Post by Snaz on Mon Aug 16, 2010 1:26 pm

Family, friends mourn victims of off-road crash
Witness says driver of truck that plowed into crowd, killing 8, took jump too fast

updated 8/16/2010 9:52:36 AM ET

LUCERNE VALLEY, Calif. — Zachary Freeman loved to fish, dirt bike and camp — but most of all, he loved to watch off-road truck racing in the vast Mojave Desert northeast of Los Angeles.

That love would cost the 24-year-old pipe welder and seven other off-road enthusiasts their lives when a truck competing in the annual California 200 careened off the sand track Saturday and into the crowd, instantly killing Freeman and his best friend.

On Sunday, his girlfriend and his stepfather mourned at a simple cross-and-stone memorial set in the thick sand and waited in the blistering heat for a locksmith to arrive to change the ignition lock in Freeman's truck so they could take it home. His keys had been lost in the chaos; the coroner found only a lighter in his pocket.

"I'm just in shock. It's not real yet, it hasn't soaked in," said Randall Peterson, his grieving stepfather.

Freeman's girlfriend, Nicky Carmikle, sobbed as she knelt down and placed her boyfriend's camouflage baseball hat in the center of the stone circle surrounding the wooden cross.

Carmikle recalled how she had stepped away from the race for a few minutes to use the bathroom and returned to find the truck upside down, bodies everywhere and people screaming in panic.


Read more: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38721170/ns/us_news-life/

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Snaz

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