A 20-year-old French chief engineer, Quentin Lavallée, lost his life in a road accident on the sidelines of the Dakar 2022 in Saudi Arabia, organizers said in a statement on Friday. “His passenger, Maxime Frère, of Belgian nationality, was injured and transported conscious to the National Guards Hospital in Jeddah where a full assessment is underway,” he said.
The mechanic of the French team PH Sport died a few hours before the end of the event, during a liaison on the 12th and last stage of the rally-raid. The accident took place “around 11:30 am”, at kilometer 234 of a link which has 516 in total, and involved a “local truck”, according to the press release sent by the organizer ASO. It comes on the last day of an edition that had not experienced a major accident in the race.
The specter of the explosion of December 30
Outside the race, on the other hand, the explosion of a vehicle on December 30 in Jeddah, the origin of which remains officially unknown, seriously injured the French driver Philippe Boutron, 61, repatriated after having been operated. French justice opened an investigation for “attempted assassinations in connection with a terrorist enterprise”.
What is still officially qualified as an “accident” by the organization and the authorities has led to a drastic strengthening of security measures around the competition, including during this last stage where AFP was able to observe the presence of cars. police at very regular intervals around the special.