LOS ANGELES -- Fans of long-distance off-roading have seen the number of federal sites where they can speed and soar over the desert dunes in Southern California dwindle to just a handful, mainly over environmental concerns.
Now, they might drop further over safety concerns.
Off-roaders fear a federal review announced Monday into a weekend race accident that killed eight and injured 10 in the Mojave Desert could lead to further restrictions -- or even spell the end -- of their sport.
At the California 200 race Saturday, a truck went off a jump and crashed through spectators who had lined the course, immediately raising questions about oversight and safety.
The federal Bureau of Land Management, which manages the portion of the desert where the race was held, will review all off-road vehicle events on federal land in the California desert for safety.
BLM added that the race organizer, South El Monte, Calif.-based Mojave Desert Racing, was responsible for safety.
No one appeared home Monday at the address listed for MDR. Calls and e-mails were not returned.
MDR's permit required racers to travel 15 mph or less when they were within 50 feet of fans, and allowed no more than 300 spectators for the event, the agency said.
There were at least 1,000 people at the free event, and eyewitness accounts indicated the truck was going much faster than 15 mph when it careened off the sand track.
BLM spokesman David Briery declined to comment in detail on steps the agency might be taking to ensure the safety of spectators or whether there was a possibility that criminal charges could be filed.