An accident near a deserted mining town in the Arizona desert Saturday claimed the life of a passenger who was riding in the SCORE Parker 400 off-road race.
Buzz Combe, 35, of Bonita, Calif., was riding in Mike Lund's Nissan Pathfinder near Swansea, Ariz., when the racing truck missed a 90-degree turn at the end of a seven-mile section of dirt road described as one of the faster portions of the 115-mile lap. The truck, which was racing in Class 3, plunged into a ravine, overturned and hit a large rock on the passenger side, said race spokesman John Houlgate.
A helicopter was summoned and Combe was taken to Parker, Ariz., Community Hospital within an hour of the accident, Houlgate said. A hospital spokesperson said that Combe had suffered severe head trauma. Lund, a veteran of off-road racing and the Parker 400, was not injured.
In another incident, Hosea Brooks, 52, of Glendale, Ariz., a passenger in the Class 1 Chaparral with Steve Simmons, suffered a heart attack at the pit road entrance at the end of the second lap. Brooks was taken to Parker Community Hospital, and then was taken to Deer Valley Hospital in Phoenix in critical condition.
Jim Smith of Garden Grove was the unlimited winner of the first race of the SCORE off-road season, driving a Chenowth Porsche at an average speed of 52.55 m.p.h. He finished well ahead of second-place Mark McMillin and Don Kenniston, of Chula Vista, Calif., in a Chenowth-Porsche.
The overall motorcycle winners were Larry Roeseler and Ted Hunnicutt Jr., of Irvine.