Local News

Off-road race crash injures former Stem resident

Posted August 16, 2010 10:59 p.m. EDT
Updated August 16, 2010 11:55 p.m. EDT

— A weekend accident at an off-road race in the California desert killed eight spectators and injured 12 others, including a 20-year-old woman who grew up in Stem.

Elizabeth Davis was in intensive care Monday after surviving the accident caused when a truck went out of control and hit a crowd lining the course.

“The driver that lost control was a friend of hers, and she was there with some other friends to see him race,” said Christina Forester, Davis' sister.

Two of Davis' friends standing with her Saturday at the California 200 race were killed, Forester said. The two sisters talked by telephone Monday.

“She was crying on the phone and in pain,” Forester recalled.

Davis suffered broken bones, abrasions and underwent surgery.  She doesn't remember much about the crash, according to her sister.

“I'm thankful that she is going to live,” Forester said.

Forester and other relatives say they are angry and think the crash could have been prevented. They say something needs to be done to make off-road vehicle events safer.

“I was just surprised there wasn't even netting up saying, 'Don't go past this point,' and why couldn't they have done something to keep people away from that area,” Forester said.

Her family says Davis is a fighter. She survived a small plane crash as a child and survived a drive-by shooting when she was pregnant.

As she recovers in a California hospital, Davis' family is trying to gather enough money to send her mother out there for support.

“I need to be by my daughter's side. She's cried for me, she's yelled for me,” said Junnie Archer, Davis' mother.

Davis's family says she doesn't hold a grudge against her friend, Brett Sloppy, 28, of San Marcos, Calif., who troopers said was behind the wheel of the truck involved in the crash.

Officials said Sloppy wasn’t hurt and that it wasn't yet clear why he lost control of the truck.