Australian man dead after Targa Tasmania rally crash, wife taken to hospital


A 59-year-old driver was killed in an accident during the Targa Tasmania rally on Wednesday, a year after three competitors were killed in the annual race.

The Brisbane man and his wife were in a 1989 Porsche 944 S2 when it crashed into an embankment on a closed section of the event in upstate Tasmania. Officials said the two were regular competitors in the rally.

Tasmania Police said the man died at the scene and the woman was taken to hospital for observation but was not seriously injured. The investigations were continuing. Police did not release the man’s name.

Officials then downgraded the six-day rally, which takes place on tarmac roads, to a non-competitive event.

“While cars will continue to travel on closed roads, drivers will now be limited to posted speed limits for the remainder of the event,” Targa Australia chief executive Mark Perry said in a statement.

Three competitors died within 24 hours of last year’s race. Organizers have adopted the bulk of the Motorsport Australia Tribunal of Inquiry’s 23 recommendations to make tarmac rallies safer, including reduced speeds and changes to some stages of the route.

More than 500 cars are competing in the Launceston to Hobart rally, which is due to finish on Sunday.

Perry said “the thoughts of the entire Targa community are with our competitor’s family and loved ones at this extremely difficult time.”

Tasmania Police said the man died at the scene and the woman was taken to hospital for observation but was not seriously injured.
PA

“We are losing a close member of the Targa family, one of our longtime regular competitors,” added Perry. “It’s hard to put it into words for us right now, after last year and all the work we’ve done.”

Emergency services arrived late at night to remove the man’s body from the wreckage.

“I was told the road was wet but it was not raining at the time,” Tasmania Police Inspector Darren Hopkins said, adding the cause of the accident was still unknown. “It could even be a medical condition.”

New York Post

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