The three Race2Recovery members are Justin Birchall, 40, a team driver and civilian volunteer from Burnley, Lancashire, whose Wildcat vehicle retired earlier in the race; former Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineer and Gulf War and Falklands war veteran Lee Townsend, a team mechanic, from Yate near Bristol; and retired Army Major John Winskill, aged 42, the team logistics expert from Durrington, near Salisbury, Wilts.
It is understood that two other vehicles were involved in the accident and two people received fatal injuries and others were injured. Team leader Captain Tony Harris said: “Our hearts go out to the families and relatives of those who have died in this tragic accident and we offer them our condolences and sympathy. Our entire team has been struck by the friendliness and support we have received from the Peruvian people since arriving for the Dakar Rally.”
Captain Harris said that the Team had unanimously agreed to continue the challenge with the two remaining Wildcat vehicles.
The three injured R2R team members were transferred to a local hospital and later flown from Tacna by an Antonov aircraft to hospital in Lima where they are said to be ‘stable and conscious.” Their injuries were described as “non-life-threatening.” Their families have been informed of the accident by other team members.
“This is obviously a huge shock but we know that we have the blessing of the injured. They want the team to finish,” Tony said.
The accident is being investigated by the local police in Peru and the team is being supported by the race organisers.