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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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46.

matthew j. partida    

SEE THE PROMOTERS/ORGANIZERS OF THESE RACES WERE LEGALLY LIABLE TO START USING BARRIERS AND MARKERS BOTH FOR FANS AND RACERS SINCE THE LAST TIME THIS HAPPEND BUT OBVIOUSLY DIDNT SO THAT IS ON THEM I THINK THAT TMZ AND EVERY1 NEEDS TO JUST LET HIM R.I.P!

1339 days ago
47.

Arielle Jochimsen    

Y'all do need to let him rest in peace. He went saved his daughter and that is that the promoters are liable and they did not put barriers up and changed the track that is all promoter problems. I went to a race not long after my friend Andrew passed and they had barriers through out the whole area where the spectaters were and everyone stayed back and no one got hurt. That is the way all races should be. I'm not on here just to stand up for my friend, I believe that everything should be paid for all the things that had to be taken care of for the 8 that passed away and the medical bills for the 12 injured and I strongly believe the families should have a fund started for the children. I'm sick of everyone bad mouthing this situation. I bet not one of you except the people I know on here know a single person affected so who the hell are you to talk... ABOLUTLY NO ONE!!! And just for the record I can spell and do proof read. I'm not illiterate that is what a good edjucation and the military does for a person.

1339 days ago
48.

matthew j. partida    

I COULDNT HAVE SAID IT BETTER ARIELLE

1339 days ago
49.

Dusty    

As an official at that event, I am in a position to say that NOBODY bought a ticket. The event was on public land with no fences to keep fools out. The course was 50 miles long on trails in the desert and the course chosen is controlled by the BLM. Signs were posted that spectators should keep 150 from the course. And they were ignored by thousands of fools. These events have been taking place in the southwestern deserts for at least 50 years and this is the 1st time such an incident has happened. There have been incidents where some fool crossed the race course in the path of a racer and died. Never before has a racer crashed into a crowd. Offroad racers, like most types of racers, crash sometimes. Many of the people at the crash area were intoxicated. Many were trying to touch the race vehicles as they went by...On very rough terrain and on a trail which is not straight. The driver who crashed was NOT intoxicated, but many spectators (good chance the plaintiff's son included) were. The problem was NOT that the race car crashed, it happens all the time. The problem was that fools were in the way where the race car crashed. If a pedestrian got hit while trying to run across a freeway, would people blame the driver who hit the pedestrian? No...Most would see that it was clearly the pedestrian who was in the wrong place. It's very unfortunate that anyone was hurt or worse, killed. But they died of terminal stupidity.

1339 days ago
50.

Trev the 1    

yah she really shouldn't blame the driver. It was a horrible accident. If anyone is at fault its the spectators and the offroad race organizers. Why would you ever bring a three year old to a race like that. His name is sloppy pretty ironic. What to soon.

1339 days ago
51.

cheryl    

Let me see, son dies, how do I make a ton of money. I know, sue someone else for his stupd actions. Money hungry dirtbag. The idiot also bought his 3 yr old with him. It is very sad that he died the way he did, but he chose to be there and standing where he was he had to know there were dangers. I home Momy dearest gets nothing. I bet she already maxed her cc out spending her blood money. I hate people that sue!

1339 days ago
52.

Mona    

Off-road racing is rough and tough. My husband races, and although I like to see him go by, I know to stand my distance because ANYTHING can happen to ANYONE. People should know this, and keep a safe distance at all times...but to sue a driver or any off-road promoter! Give me a break....

1339 days ago
53.

brandi    

ok just to clarify, there were no tickets bought, and his daughter is still alive. and some of these comments are super stupid,especially the race ones...if you all are going to talk ****...at least get your facts straight.

1339 days ago
54.

Jen    

I sympathize with the families that died completely.

But how can you possibly sue someone because someone ignored guidelines and stood too close, how could a driver possibly have known anyone would be down there. I highly doubt he got into his truck meaning to do anyone or anything any harm.

That mom needs to focus on grieving and healing and not on the dollar signs painted all over his coffin, people are too effing selfish!!!

1339 days ago
55.

Kristi    

I am so sick of people having the liberty of suing for any reason. Her son should not have been there or involved in the first place. Those types of things are inevitable. It is sad that a little girl lost her father, but the dip**** father wasn't responsible enough not to have taken there...that isn't the driver's fault. Come on mom...he is going to have to live with having killed somebody his entire life...you want him to do it broke...why don't you just hand him a bottle of Jim Beam and a gun. Sad, and vengance is not the answer...what are you teaching your grandchild? That when you make a bad decision, other people are responsible. No bueno!

1339 days ago
56.

Fidel Sarcastro    

Maybe just maybe, and this is just me, but perhaps that even if there isnt a guard rail it would probably be a little bit safer to stand ouside spitting distance from the offroad vehicles that are bouncing over dunes at 60+ miles per hour.

This goes to one of those "Bad Things Happen To Stupid People". Most people with a shred of common sense would think to themselves "Wow those things are going by pretty fast and maybe I should be far enough away from the course that if by chance one does careen into the crowd I will be safe". Those who dont shouldnt blame anyone but themselves. I mean for gods sake the idiot not only put himself in danger by getting so close but also the life of his 3 year old daughter.

Now I can understand the families grief, I get that part of the healing process is to assign blame but it was an accident plain and simple. it is absurd to expect an offroad race that has a 50 mile stretch of track to install 100 miles of barriers (50 per side). It was a tragic loss and a shame that 3 year old will have to grow up without a father but to go off and blame people just to feel better isnt right. The man made a mistake by getting that close to the track when he knew there was nothing keeping the vehicles from going into the crowd, sadly that mistake cost him his life. The accident has scarred the family for life, it has scarred the driver for life, all who worked for said event and invested in it now lost alot... no one was on the winning side of this (well except perhaps the press).

1339 days ago
57.

Thinkabout-it    

Hey, "Dash" you say that "white folks" are "dum" b/c they go to car races, and black folks are smarter b/c they know to stay away. What I think is DUMB is how racist YOU are and how BLACK people like yourself keep killing each other off b/c they feel disrespected.RIDICULOUS. All black people seem to do is whine, whine, and whine about everything and anything! To me that is
D-U-M-B!

1339 days ago
58.

Don The Man    

Maybe this woman just wants someone to blame, other than putting the blame where it belongs, on her son. I read about the whole thing in the newspaper. The bystanders were on the very edge of the track, on the other side of a big jump. Any truck going over the jump that loses control will go right into the crowd. The race is in the desert, miles from nowhere and there are no barriers. The driver is trying to compete in a race, so I can't see how he is in any way liable. F'n sue happy people suck!

1339 days ago
59.

Racer    

Let me tell all of you that are immature enough to say things just because of his last name. Do you even realize how stupid you sound. I know this man and race along side with him. He did nothing wrong. This is our sport and everyone who participates and goes to these races knows you have to stand so many feet away. This was the girls fault for not obeying the rules. Spectators error. I do not feel sorry for this woman who is wanting to sue. Her main reason is because she is money hungry and wants to make money off of her daughter..SAD! Sloppy has been through alot and has to deal with everything that went down and it was not even his fault. So before you judge someone please know the facts!! This woman should be prosectued for making money off her daughters death.

1339 days ago
60.

EASportsInDaGame    

Eight people died. You don't see this happen at other races. Shut down the promoter, the racers, and the races!

1339 days ago
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