According to Dakar boss David Castera, it was a Russian spectator who was in the middle of the track at the start of the timed part of the rally-raid stage. “When the first car arrived, he panicked, he ran from side to side, he was hit on one leg. He had an open tibia-fibula fracture and so we had to evacuate him,” David Castera said on Friday evening. According to him, the spectator was in the area marked by the markers. “He had already been taken out twice. He had nothing to do there,” said Mr. Castera. French driver Lionel Baud (Toyota), who was driving the car with his daughter, turned around to request emergency services before leaving. The injured man was first transported to Al-Ula hospital and was then transferred to Medina to undergo “an operation, to put the pins on the leg,” Castera added.
The special for cars was interrupted for 51 minutes, enough time to transport the spectator by helicopter. During the 2016 Dakar in South America, Lionel Baud hit and killed a 63-year-old Bolivian spectator on the track of a rally special. A few days later, a Dakar support truck towing the French driver's car was hit by a semi-trailer transporting goods. Six vehicles were damaged in the collision, which cost the life of the Argentinian driver of one car.