SCORE San Felipe 250 Death in the Sands of San Felipe
MARCH 15, 2003 -- 1620 Hours -- The 267X Sportsman Motorcycle team led by Angel Montiel of San Diego, California and the entire off-road racing community suffered a devastating blow during the SCORE Desert Series San Felipe 250 this morning.
With information provided to ORC staffers from multiple sources, some of who were on-scene and team members of the 267X team, the Off-Road.com staff is sad to report the death of David Bills, 33 years-old, of San Diego, California.
The motorcycle racer had just completed a rider change race mile 48. He took the motorcycle from Montiel, who had suffered his own crash at race mile three and was slow in getting to the pit exchange location. It wasn't long before the Trophy Trucks were speeding towards him. As he left the exchange location, team members reported two trophy trucks that passed at "blazing speed" near racemile 48. Team members at the pit location reported the first truck through racemile 48 was the #52 Trophy Truck of Juan Carlos Ibarra quickly followed by the #99 Riviera Trophy Truck of Nick Baldwin.
According to ORC sources, the accident occurred in a narrow section of the racecourse and radio reports were that the #99 Riviera Trophy Truck "clipped" the race bike driven by David Bills. Bob Steinberger, also known as "The Weatherman," broadcasted a "Code Red" as he received word of the accident on the frequency. Emergency operations and rescue were immediately dispatched to the location, however, any hope was short lived as it was reported only a few minutes later that the motorcycle racer was deceased.
Jesse Jones, driver of the PCI Race Radios #7 Trophy Truck, reported to ORC staffers that as he passed the downed motorcycle racer, he saw that the racer was only a few feet off the race course and was being attended to by another racer reportedly to be the #8 Trophy Truck of Dan Smith and Enduro Racing. Jesse Jones reported the racecourse at that area as being very narrow and heading into a blind sweeping turn.
The driver, David Bills, 33 years old, resided in San Diego, California. He was a night manager for the Ralph's grocery store chain in San Diego County. He moved to San Diego from Utah 13 years ago and was not married. This was his first race in Baja and was part of the team of sportsman riders formed and led by Angel Montiel.
ORC staffers were aware of the tragic incident as "The Weatherman" put the frequency on Code Red. It was later discovered that David Bills and Angel Montiel had shared the quiet ORC campfire the evening before the race. ORC staffers remember David Bills as enjoying the campfire with the small group of friends as most of the crowd turned in early for the 5:00 a.m. wake up call in the ORC camp.
After meeting with SCORE-International Director Sal Fish and his team of race staff, Team 267x left immediately for the United States. It has been reported that the Riviera Trophy Truck discontinued the race after the accident. The incident is under investigation.
The entire Off-Road.com staff sends our condolences to the friends and family of David Bills and Team 267x. Off-Road.com will be organizing support in the form of financial donations for the family and friends of David Bills and Team 267x. Check back soon for regular updates.