Jason Baldwin’s Baja 500 Tragedy

April 6, 2014
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On June 08, 1999, for the second time in two years, the Baja 500 had a fatality involving the same driver, Jason Baldwin. According to the Los Angeles Times, Mexican authorities said Baldwin was going too fast for conditions before crashing into spectators at the 30th Tecate SCORE Baja 500 off-road race. Luís Alberto Lopez, 29 was killed and six other spectators were badly injured. Baldwin had also been involved in a 1998 fatality that occurred while he was pre-running the course along a two-way stretch of track when he collided, head-on, with a motorcyclist who was “considering entering the event,” according to SCORE president Sal Fish.  The Baja California state highway patrol ruled “excessive speed” was the cause of the accident that occurred shortly after the off-road race started on Saturday. Baldwin’s truck was traveling about 100 mph when he lost control in northern Ensenada at the Tecate Highway crossing.


Instead of negotiating the turn, Baldwin’s truck went into a crowd of onlookers and flipped. It struck and killed Ignacius Valdez, 32, and injured six other spectators. The most seriously of those injured, Craig Stewart, 30, of Santee, underwent brain surgery for a blood clot at UC San Diego Medical Center. Stewart was listed in good condition on the Monday and, according to a hospital spokesperson, would likely be released within the week. Sal Fish, the CEO of the racing organization said there would no action taken against Baldwin.

One thing is for sure; Baldwin was relentlessly dogged over these incidents for the rest of his short life. He seems to have gone out of his way to try and earn the forgiveness of his victims, visiting and paying for the upkeep of their graves. As such, Baldwin seems to have been in a state of deep inebriated melancholy after driving to a 19th overall finish in the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 on Saturday November 26, 2001, when he crashed his Cessna 210 aircraft three miles off the coast of Dana Point, California, killing himself and three friends, according to the Associated Press.

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