Dakar Rally 2014: Deaths Include Journalists, Biker, But No Trucks, Cars, Or Quads

Dakar Rally 2014 TV coverage is reporting the three deaths of people watching the famous race, including two journalists and one biker. Fortunately, no Dakar Rally trucks have been involved in any fatal accidents.

As previously reported by The Inquisitr, the start of the 2012 Dakar Rally was also overshadowed by a famous death.

Raced in South America, Dakar Rally 2014 featured 431 vehicles crossing Argentina, Bolivia and Chile for the auto, motorbike, trucks, and quad events. The off-road routes they follow are often treacherous but the 14-day, 13 stage journey is open to both amateur and professional drivers. And, of course, the only real way to follow the racers over the countryside is by vehicles. To give you an idea how bad conditions can be, only about half of the participants were still in the running after the mandatory rest day.

During the first seven stages of Dakar Rally 2014, two members of a news team for Super Rally magazine died when the car they were driving fell into a ravine, dropping about 330 feet. Agustin Mina, 20, and Daniel Ambrosio, 51, who were both in the front seats, died instantly on impact. They are both said to have loved auto racing and they were photographers for the magazine. Martin Delgado, 31, and Rodrigo de Quesada, 36, survived the crash and were taken to a hospital. Officials are still investigating what happened to cause them to drive into the ravine.

But Belgian motorcyclist Eric Palante was an actual racer in Dakar Rally 2014 and this year was the 11th time he'd been in the race:

"He knew the race very well, and over the years his enthusiastic but serious approach had made him one of the pillars of the event."
The 50-year-old man was planning to celebrate his birthday on January 21. Friends say his goal was to win the Dakar Rally 2014 amateur trophy for motorbikes. The death is still being investigated.