Devastation as spectator, 72, killed during La Laguna rally
There was devastation and despair when the highly-popular La Laguna motor rally ended in disaster.
At the end of the sixth timed test, one of the cars was involved in an accident and was in collision with three spectators, one of whom suffered such serious injuries that he was declared dead at the scene.
He was aged 72 and lived in Agua Dulce which is within the Los Silos municipality in the north of Tenerife. He is understood to be Spanish.
A full investigation is underway to determine exactly what happened but there are unconfirmed reports that the man died a hero, pushing other people out of the way as he spotted the rally car coming towards them. The sequence of events has not yet been made public but the investigation will be looking at all aspects, including where people were standing, whether they were in an authorised place, why the vehicle left the track etc.
The two other spectators escaped serious injury and were treated by medics on the roadside.
La Laguna’s annual rally is always a much anticipated sporting event in Tenerife’s calendar and there was much excitement when the orga-nisers announced all the details a few weeks ago.
The accident happened on Saturday, July 20th at at around 3.30pm on the TF-226 road which runs from La Esperanza to Tacoronte.
It is understood the car involved had crossed the finishing line when it continued along the road and for some reason crashed through a brick wall near or on a bend.
Health personnel rushed to help the three injured spectators but there was nothing they could do to save the 72-year-old’s life.
It was a witness who told a Spanish newspaper that he had seen the man push others out of the way.
As usual in these cases, agents of the Local Police of Tacoronte sealed the place of the fatal accident until the arrival of Civil Guard agents who are responsible for investigating the incident. The report prepared will be sent to the relevant judicial authority.
La Laguna council took to Twitter to express its deepest condolences to the family of the deceased, adding it was also sad news for Canary sport.
The event organiser also posted a message on the social networks, saying: “The or-ganising committee of the VI Rallye City of La Laguna regrets to announce that the test has been suspended after an accident after the finish of the sixth section with the result of a deceased spectator. Our most sincere condolences to the family.”
In all previous editions, there had been no such incidents.
The last record of a fatal event in a rally in Tenerife was five years ago in the VI edition of the Ascent to Tabares Valley when a 23-year-old photographer suffered fatal injuries.