Bad luck killed the eight spectators watching the annual "California 200" off-road race in the Mojave Desert on August 14. Almost all of the eight were in their twenties.
Off-road truck racing is a sport with dedicated spectators, who line the sand track through the empty desert scrub and outcroppings to watch drivers and machines go as fast as possible, all without safety barriers. Some intrepid spectators get as close as four feet from the path of the racing trucks.
In this instance, a competing truck hit a jump or series of bumps, and careened off-path and flipped into spectators lining the track.
It was reported that tens of thousands of people lined the 50-mile track. The spot where the accident occurred was called "the rockpile", popular because trucks often became airborne as they raced by.
When the truck involved stopped, it was resting on its roof, with people pinned underneath it.
To paraphrase a famous Justice Cardozo quote: "Nothing happened except what common experience tells us might happen at any time as a consequence of the sport..."
Assumed risk is probably not fully appreciated by off-road truck racing fans, given the seemingly low chance of accident. Obviously statistics do not matter at all if your friend or family member is the unlucky party to get hurt or killed.