$5.8M settlement in off-road race crash

SANTA ANA, Calif. - A nearly $6 million settlement was announced Wednesday in lawsuits stemming from a 2010 off-road racing crash in the Mojave Desert that killed eight people, including three Escondido men.

The agreement was finalized during a mediation session Tuesday in Los Angeles federal court, according to attorney Katherine Harvey-Lee, who represented four of the nearly 40 plaintiffs.

She said the plaintiffs will receive $5.8 million in the settlement, which still must be approved by the Department of Justice. The federal Bureau of Land Management will pay $4.8 million, and race organizer and promoter
Mojave Desert Racing Inc. will pay its insurance policy limit of $1 million, according to the attorney.

Lawsuits were filed in various state and federal jurisdiction and consolidated in Los Angeles federal court.

The Escondido men -- Brian Wolfin, 27, Anthony Sanchez, 23, and Aaron Farkas, 25 -- were killed by an out-of-control pickup truck driven by Brett Sloppy of San Marcos at the "California 200" race in the Johnson Valley Off-Highway Vehicle Open Area.

Also killed were Michael Dickinson, 34, of Spring Valley; Danica Frantzich, 20, of Las Vegas; Zachary Freeman, 24, of Fillmore; Dustin Malso, 24, of Ventura; and Andrew Therrien, 22, of Riverside.

The crash at the San Bernardino desert dry lake bed occurred when Sloppy's truck went airborne and rolled, crushing spectators.

No charges were filed against Sloppy.

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