Personal injury news

Neck injury kills Dakar Rally motorcyclist

A top Australian motorcyclist has died from a serious neck injury after crashing during the Dakar Rally. Andy Caldecott, 41, becomes the 23 rd competitor to die in the event since it started 28 years ago, and the tragic incident has highlighted calls for better protection for racers.

It is believed that he hit a bump and was thrown over the handlebars during the ninth stage of the race, a 599km dash across the Sahara desert between the Mauritian towns of Nouakchott and Kiffa. Fellow competitors later discovered his body but his neck injury had been so severe that he had died instantly upon impact.

The Dakar Rally is an off-road endurance race which begins in Europe and finishes in the Senegalese city of Dakar. Motorcycles, trucks and cars compete in the event and many vehicle manufacturers use the race, which crosses desert and mountainous terrain, as a testing ground for their new designs.

Andy Caldecott was an experienced rider with an illustrious past and was a four-time winner of the Australian Safari and had won three Dakar stages. He had not been scheduled to compete in this year’s race but was called up to replace a team-mate injured in another motorcycle accident last month. The owner of a motorcycle shop in Keith, South Australia, Caldecott leaves behind a wife and one child.

Motorcycling Australia chief, David White, released a statement saying, “He was travelling on a high speed section of the track. He was travelling, according to the organisers, within the speed limits, but had a heavy fall and suffered some serious neck injuries.”

More information about the Dakar Rally can be found at



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