Investigation into Finke fatality ongoing

The start/finish line in Alice Springs

The Motorsport Australia investigation into the incident in which a spectator was killed at last month’s Finke Desert Race is ongoing.

A man in his 60s, Nigel Harris, died at the scene after being struck by a vehicle which was racing in the event, during the return leg from Aputula (Finke) to Alice Springs.

The incident, which occurred around 35km from the finish line, also resulted in a male spectator in his 50s being medevaced to Alice Springs Hospital with serious injuries, while a female in her 50s who was the navigator of the vehicle in question sustained minor injuries.

Northern Territory Police and NT WorkSafe are conducting investigations, as is Motorsport Australia.

The latter’s director of motorsport and commercial operations, Mike Smith, told this week, “It’s an ongoing investigation.

“We’ve sent someone up to the scene and obviously we’re working it all with the local authorities up there, and we’ll continue to do that.

“So, there’s still some more work to be done, but we’re only one element of that. We have other stakeholders that need to be involved in that process and that’s ongoing.”

He added, “We want to make sure that it’s all-encompassing and that all of the stakeholders are involved in that process.”

As yet, there is no firm timeline as to when Motorsport Australia’s investigation might be completed.

“I wouldn’t want to put a finite date on it,” said Smith.

“There’s still some work to be done, and obviously, whatever the outcome of that investigation will be, that will be implemented for next year’s event.”

Finke was Round 2 of the BFGoodrich Motorsport Australia Off Road Championship, which continues on August 27-29 with the Hindmarsh Shire Rainbow Desert Enduro.

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