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DATE News (chronologically)
05/07/07
Racing News
Two deaths cause rally to be cancelled  A second person has died following a crash that led officials to call off the rest of the Gumball 3000 rally, and a British driver blamed for the accident was stopped trying to leave the country. Hospital officials in Skopje said Saturday that the wife of a man killed in the accident also had died. Vladimir and Margarita Cepuljoski, an elderly couple, were critically injured in Wednesday's accident in Struga, about 120 miles from Skopje.

Nicholas Morley was charged with endangering traffic and abandoning an accident victim. He was released from custody in the southern town of Ohrid late Friday after posting bail of $33,900. Authorities said they stopped Morley at an airport hours later as he was prepared to board a private jet.

"He was prevented from leaving the country at Skopje's airport late Friday," police spokesman Ivo Kotevski said.

Police said Morley and Matthew McConvile were driving a Porsche 911 on the 3,000-mile race across Europe. They were heading to Albania.

The rest of the rally, based on the 1970s road trip movie, was canceled Thursday as a mark of respect for the victims. The race started last Sunday in London, and was set to wind through 16 countries before ending in London on Saturday.

"We are very saddened by what has happened and feel that it would be wrong to continue," race founder Maximillion Cooper said in a statement. "On behalf of Gumball 3000, we once again extend our deepest sympathies to his family and we are doing everything we can for them.

"This is the first time anything like this has happened in 9 years of traveling through over 40 countries with thousands of drivers."

The death of the couple has drawn nationwide sympathy. The couple's son died of a heart attack a year ago, and their daughter is seriously ill.
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