Video: Many dead after monster truck plows into crowd at Mexican air show At least eight people died and nearly 80 were injured – dozens critically – when an unwieldy monster struck hurtled into a crowd of Mexican air show spectators, officials said Sunday.
Francisco Velazquez, the driver, lost control of the truck after leaping over two cars late Sunday afternoon about 230 miles south of the U.S. border in Chihuahua, Mexico.
He was detained Sunday on suspicion of manslaughter and authorities are investigating whether safety regulations were properly enforced before the show.
An alcohol test revealed that Velazquez had alcohol on his breath, according to the governor of Chihuahua. But he did not say whether the amount detected was illegal.
Videos from the incident show that the truck, the “Big Show,” landed nose first and bounced up aggressively, bowling toward the grandstand as helpless audience members tried in vain to escape from its path. No protective barrier or wall stood in the way.
Among the dead were two girls, ages 6 and 7, and a 12-year-old boy, the city’s official Facebook page said.
"I fell over, and when I turned around I saw the tire very close. It hit me and threw me to the other side," said Jesus Manuel Ibarra, 41, according to the Associated Press.
Ibarra was treated for arm and hip injuries. The mayor of Chihuahua, Marco Quezada, said that 79 people were hurt altogether, 12 are in intensive care and four are in critical condition.
Several local media outlets report that the death toll climbed to 13, but authorities have not confirmed this. Carlos Gonzalez, a spokesperson for the Chihuahua state prosecutors' office, said that the reported numbers of dead and injured could continue to escalate as information comes in.
Some investigators suspect a “technical error” that prevented the driver from easing up on the gas pedal caused the accident. But multiple witnesses say that the driver was incapacitated when he hit his head during a stunt.
At least two people said they saw the driver’s helmet fly off.
"The driver hit his head and his helmet flew off," said Daniel Dominguez, 18. "The truck came directly at where we were."
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