WorkSafe confirm investigations into tragic Finke Desert Race death

Investigations are underway following the tragic death of 60-year-old Nigel Harris, who was killed on impact when a vehicle veered off the track and into spectators at the Finke Desert Race.

NT Police, NT WorkSafe, and Motorsport Australia have all confirmed they are carrying out separate investigations following the incident on Monday morning, which also left two others in hospital. A WorkSafe spokesman said prosecution remained an option if they determined that a potential breach has occurred.

“If it is determined that a serious incident could have or did result from potential breaches of duty under the work health and safety laws, NT WorkSafe will commence an investigation,” the spokesman said.

“If an investigation identifies admissible evidence of a breach of the work health and safety act, the Northern Territory Director of Public Prosecution guidelines are used to determine whether a prosecution should commence.”

NT Police Commander Craig Laidler acknowledged “the tragic circumstances of the weekend” and thanked the police officers and first responders who worked at the event. He said Finke attendees’ behaviour was “relatively good” over the four-day event.

He said “there are a number of facets to the investigation” but would not go into details on the matter.

Motorsport Australia chief executive Eugene Arocca said they had begun an investigation in partnership with event organisers.

“(We) will look into all aspects of spectator safety at this event,” he said.

Chief Minister Michael Gunner said decisions about next year’s Finke Desert Race would be made closer to the time.

“We will get advice leading into next year,” he said.

“I don’t want to comment on whether the person was, or wasn’t, standing too close.”

Source: NT News

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