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Victim's Mom Sues in Deadly Desert Race Disaster

12/29/2010 9:30 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

The mother of a man killed when an off-road driver plowed into a crowd of spectators at the California 200 desert race is suing the man behind the wheel -- claiming the tragedy could have been avoided with proper safety measures.

Andrew Therrien

In a lawsuit filed today in L.A. County Superior Court, Doris Levinson claims her son Andrew Therrien was watching the race with his 3-year-old daughter back in August when driver Brett Sloppy lost control of his 5,000 pound truck and barreled towards the crowd.

Levinson claims ... as the truck approached Andrew and his daughter, Andrew managed to shove the little girl out of harms way -- but he wasn't so lucky ... and died from the injuries he sustained from impact. Seven other people also died in the crash.


Levinson claims Sloppy and the company behind the race -- MDR Productions -- were negligent, careless and reckless ... because they failed to take proper safety precautions.

Levinson claims Andrew's daughter sustained "severe emotional distress and mental suffering" due to the incident.

Levinson is suing on behalf of her granddaughter and her son's estate -- she's asking for unspecified damages.
122 COMMENTS

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16.

chuck    

she should sue her son for not following rules of the track if you stand on the side of the beyond the barracades your a dummy and he had his doughter with him. god has a way of weeding out the dumb ones

1303 days ago
17.

9    

so pathetic. cant stand sue happy people, your kid was dumb enough to stand next to an open race course where 20-25 trucks had already come through before sloppy had the accident, just be glad that your grandchild wasn't killed also and move on

1303 days ago
18.

anna    

Sorry that Andrew is dead but he was an adult who put himself in this situation. Andrew wasnt the upstanding young man some portray him as. He wasnt working, wasnt going to school was living off everyone else. He partied too much and would have his 3 year old in dangerous situations. Its no wonder she was there the night of this accident. He only had his daughter because he was collecting money for her she was a meal ticket for him. Now his mother wants to continue in her sons footsteps and keep collecting from everyone else.

1303 days ago
19.

Chris    

You have got to be kidding me! The guy CHOSE to go to a desert race where they stand so close to the track if not on the track and the guy took his 3 year old! You put your self into dangerous situations and ACCIDENTS can happen and do happen. I am sure that driver is living in hell as it is over a accident! People are sue happy. I wish I was on that Jury because she wouldn't get a dollar!

1303 days ago
20.

Rynomx785    

It's a off road race. Did every body catch the word "race" there? In a race drivers push the limits trying to win. **** happens and people lose control. If your willing to stand right on the side of the track that is your decision and you have to deal with the consequences. It's too bad that he involved his three year old daughter in his ignorant decision but the kids mom needs to pull her head out of her ass.

1303 days ago
21.

Magola    

So-WHY is this story on TMZ?

1303 days ago
22.

shmee    

It's a horrible thing to lose a son & as a 3yr old to lose your father, especially right in front of you but it wasnt the drivers fault & blaming him will not get your son & granddaughter back. There are regulations about standing in that area of the track & that close. Rules werent followed & a horrible accident happened but it was a RACE & Brett was simply doing what all the other drivers were, trying to win. Along with everyone affected by this, he is also trying to cope with what happened & losing his friends as well. I think everyone needs to accept it & try to move on. Especially for Sloppys sake. We love you Brett!

1303 days ago
23.

Jessica    

This type of racing is just waiting for an accident to happen...how can people put themselves and to think their child or children that close to a race that I think it is child endangerment looking at the video you would think people have common sense but I guess not this tragic accident could have been totally avoided...so sad and stupid!!!!!!

1303 days ago
24.

hank    

When is someone going to take responsibility for their own actions? This was a terrible tradgedy no doubt, but this mother needs to not blame others for her son's decision to attend this event. He was an adult, attended, stood close and an accident happened. I agree with many of you and this was a "race" and the drivers compete to win. I race offroad and we don't do this to enjoy the scenery. We are in it to win it and this means going fast. Back off on your silly ass comments directed towards Brett Sloppy. He was one of many drivers there that night and unfortunately lost control. Again, it was an accident at a racing event that has affected everyone, including the driver and co-driver. Lady, get a life, move on and quit looking for a quick way to make a buck off of something your son also enjoyed. He knew the risks.

1303 days ago
25.

Joshua    

suing the company will probably net a settlement. but what is conveniently left out is that all spectators were warned to stay 200 feet from the "track" and in places barricades were setup. for obvious reasons it is infeasible to put up 50 miles of fence (4 50 mile laps). this is a known to be dangerous section of track and why people go to this location to watch is because of the big jump and possibility for crashes. the guy who got killed was also drunk and his gf/wife cose to stand further away from the track and was not hit. i hope they take this to court and drag every effing idiot that chose to give some sob story to the media in to explain why they were drunk on federal land, why they didnt stay 200 feet from the track, and why they chose this location to watch the race. im not heartless, but you take responsibility for your actions. this guy was a dumbass. and why did the lady fail to also sue the BLM for allowing them a permit? this is so ridiculous, screw this bitch.

1303 days ago
26.

pair    

For clarity a few things should be mentioned here.

There are and were posted markings explaining there is a set back area of either 100 or 125 feet. Noone is allowed to go within that area while the course is "hot",

The race promoter had insurance.It is required.

The race promoter pays for this use of the desert and part of the process requires them to pay ridiculous fees to hire the Bureau of Land Management to be there and keep the people back. The area is considered open desert and public access cannot be denied with the exception of the course area.

California off highway vehicles are registered and have something called a "green sticker". The monies collected are to pay for the costs associated with these areas usage.

The green sticker fund (millions of dollars) was borrowed by the state of california for the general fund since california is broke. It has not been paid back.

That absent money funds those who patrol it.

Had that not happened it would be likely this would have been a simple roll over with no catastrophe attached because they would have had the men with badges there to enforce the setback rules.

BLM's officer in charge has admitted this happened on his watch and he failed in his duties...

Imagine if you had someone hold your money for you and then when you really needed it they said they spent it on something else but would pay ya back later and in the mean time there was an emergency.

Who is to blame? Not Brett Sloppy.

1303 days ago
27.

John in Alice    

Good luck to the lady. Maybe enough lawsuits will shut down these dangerous and stupid races because none of the idiots competing will be able to afford liability insurance. The revheads want to risk their lives for a thrill, send them to the mid east to dodge bullets and become "heroes.

1303 days ago
28.

Skirmp    

for cereal????????

What a load of ****, if that ****ing person was smart enough to realize a 5000 pound vehicle hurdling trough a race track and the air WILL ****ING KILL YOU. we wouldn't have this type of problem.

I wish this doods wife or mom or who ever the **** is suing these people would just pull there head out of there ****ing ass and understand that their loved one was obviously not the sharpest tool in the shed.

its in no way the drivers fault nor the promoter of the event, Its the dumb asses fault for standing to damn close to a race track with deadly large objects being hurdled around

come on people!!!!!
\rant
-skirmp

1303 days ago
29.

9    

so pathetic. cant stand sue happy people, your kid was dumb enough to stand next to an open race course where 20-25 trucks had already come through before sloppy had the accident, just be glad that your grandchild wasn't killed also and move on

1303 days ago
30.

Ricky Feagans    

To all those of you who are Talking Sh*t. Andrew Wayne Therrien was one of the best friends that i have ever had in my life. You really could not have met a more down to earth person. Andrew would have given you the shirt off his back. So to those of you who are Running your mouths, i would love for you to come out here to Riverside, and say Sh*t to my face, and to all of His/our friends faces, And to his families face. Wouldn't be such tough guys then would you? AND for all you losers INFO, BRET SLOPPY IS NOT THE PERSON GETTING SUED. MDR IS. GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT. Andrew's Brother Rob Therrien has actually met sloppy and he told me that he couldn't have been a nicer guy. So please, come out here and run your mouths.

1303 days ago
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