French motorcyclist Thomas Bourgin was killed Friday when he collided with a Chilean police vehicle prior to the seventh stage of the Dakar Rally.
The accident occurred at 8:23 a.m. as Bourgin was en route to the start of the timed portion of the race segment between the Chilean city of Calama and Salta, Argentina, rally organizers said.
"The 25-year-old rider collided with a Chilean police car that was traveling in the opposite direction. The exact circumstances of the accident are being subjected to an inquiry," according to a statement on the Dakar Rally Web site.
Bourgin, competing in the Dakar event for the first time, was No. 68 in the overall standings after six stages.
The race's medical staff rushed to the scene of the collision, near the Jama pass through the Andes, but were unable to save the rider.
Two people were killed earlier this week in southern Peru in an accident involving one of the Dakar support trucks.
The rally, which originated as a race from Paris to Dakar, capital of Senegal, was moved from Africa to South America five years ago. EFE