SAN DIEGO -- One of the top models for Monster Energy Drinks was seriously injured in a freak accident at the Baja 1000 off-road race over the weekend.
It happened before the race began, right at the starting line.
After the accident, Magda Angel was brought across the border to UCSD Trauma Center in Hillcrest where she’s now recovering.
One man, who goes by the name Monster Mike, was just feet from Angel when she was injured. He told FOX 5 it should have never happened in the first place.
“I was there with friends. We were directly behind the start line,” Mike said. “It was a thud and it’s a terrible sound.”
After the sound, Mike saw Angel lying on the ground.
One of Angel’s friends and fellow Monster Energy models described what happened on Instagram. She wrote that Angel was seriously injured when her boot was clipped by the tire tread of a truck. The tire lifted her and slammed her to the ground. Angel suffered multiple injuries, including a swollen brain, crushed eye socket and broken bones.
“The problem with these events is that there are no race officials, no race marshals -- there’s nobody focused on safety at these race events,” Mike said.
The race organizer, Score International, told FOX 5 that the accident happened behind a fenced-off secure area and emergency personnel responded right away.
Matt Kuzkowski is a long-time Baja 1000 attendee and racer. He said that given the 1,000 miles of rugged terrain, safety at the event is challenging.
“I keep seeing every year improvements to the safety around it -- more barricades, more safety, discussion around safety,” Kuzkaowski said. “You know to their credit they had people there, medics there to help right away. I believe the Score folks are doing everything they can to improve the safety of the event.”
Score International said they’re in touch with Magda Angel. They say she is recovering and apparently in good spirits and already planning to be at the races in March.