(Photo: YouTube/Tubemediacom Screen Shot)
A monster truck rammed into a crowd of spectators at a Mexican air show on Sunday, killing eight people and injuring 79 others.
Driver Francisco Velazquez appeared to lose control of the monster truck after performing a stunt by driving it over a ramp and over two cars. The monster truck bounced down from the ramp but failed to stop and continued forward straight into a nearby crowd during the demonstration at the "Extreme Aeroshow."
The diver has since been detained on suspicion of manslaughter.
Video footage shows the vehicle leaping over two cars before ramming straight into the crowd watching. There was no significant barrier to separate the monster truck and the spectators, sparking speculation about potential safety issues at the event.
Feld Motor Sports spokesman Stephen Payne told the Tampa Bay Times: "We're inspecting every single truck before it comes on the performance space. And at each and every venue that we play at, we make sure the safety buffers that we put in place are appropriate for that venue.
"We have people on the floor who have remote ignition interrupters, so at the first sign of a problem with one of these trucks, we can shut it down immediately. And a truck is not allowed on the floor unless it passes a test that shows that interruption works."
The "Extreme Aeroshow," held outside of Chihuahua in Mexico, was only in its second day of the three-day event when the tragedy occurred. Other performances at the show were canceled after the tragedy.
Witnesses say that they saw the driver of the monster truck hitting his head on the inside of his vehicle as he drove over the other cars. Some reported that they saw his helmet coming off before the truck hit the spectators.
Twelve of the 79 injured spectators remain in intensive care, and four are in critical condition, according to Chihuahua Mayor Marco Quezada. At least one child is among the 8 killed.
Carlos Gonzalez, spokesman for the Chihuahua state prosecutors' office, said they were looking into the possibility of a mechanical failure in which the driver was unable to release the gas pedal. Other reports emerging Monday suggested that police had detected alcohol on the driver's breath in tests following the incident. However, the level of alcohol was not publicly revealed, and it is unclear whether alcohol played any part in the incident.