Ex-navigator of legendary Ukrainian pilot burned alive in crash in Morocco
Laurent Lichtlechter, a 46-year-old French navigator who once took part in the Dakar race in the same crew as the legendary Ukrainian driver Vadym Nesterchuk, died in an accident at the Moroccan Desert Challenge rally, thecheckeredflag.co.uk reports. The accident occurred at the fifty-fourth kilometre of stage 4.
In conditions of minimal visibility due to heavy dust, another car crashed into the Polaris of Lichtlechter and Patrice Garrouste, which had stopped, at a speed of 140 km/h. The impact, which fell on the navigator's side, was so severe that the car immediately burst into flames.
Laurent was burned alive. Garrouste, 56, managed to get out, suffering severe burns. He was conscious during the evacuation.
"This is very sad news and we are deeply affected," said Marco Piana, owner of the Lichtlechter Xtremeplus team. "We have lost a dear friend who has been part of the Xtremeplus family for twenty years. We have no words to express this loss. Our thoughts and condolences go out to his family. He leaves behind three beautiful children."
Lichtlechter was a veteran navigator who had competed in the Dakar Rally since 2009 in both trucks and cars, with most of his work over the past decade coming from Toyota.
He and Peter Gerry won the 2015 Desafio Guarani in Argentina and the Dakar Championship. In 2016, working with Akira Miura, the duo took second place in their debut Silk Road Rally.
Recall that the founder and pilot of the first Ukrainian rally team SIXT UKRAINE, the legendary Vadym Nesterchuk, died of dehydration in the Rub Al Khali desert, UAE, in June 2013.
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