Former soldier from Yate injured in perilous Dakar Rally
A YATE man who is taking part in the world-famous Dakar Rally has been badly injured in a crash.
Lee Townsend, a mechanic for the Race2Recovery team, was in a support vehicle with two others when they were in a head-on collison in Peru.
The rally has been held in South America since 2009 for security reasons.
A spokesman for the Race2Recovery team said the men were transferred to a local hospital and later flown by aircraft to another hospital in Lima where they are said to be "stable and conscious" with "non-life-threatening" injuries.
Their families have been informed of the accident by other team members.
The other two men injured were Justin Birchall, 40, a team driver and civilian volunteer from Lancashire, whose Wildcat vehicle retired earlier in the race, and retired Army Major John Winskill, 42, the team's logistics expert, from Wiltshire.
Mr Townsend, in his early forties, is a former Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineer and Gulf War and Falklands veteran whose fundraising efforts have featured on thisisbristol.co.uk before.
The crash happened when their vehicle, a Land Rover Defender, was travelling in convoy on day five of the rally with other support vehicles in the Peruvian town of Tacna, near the Chilean border.
It is understood that two other vehicles were involved in the accident and two people were killed.
The Race2Recovery team, which has been raising funds for forces charities since 2011, is hoping to become the first disability team to complete the challenge.
The rally began in Lima last Saturday and ends in Santiago, Chile, on January 20.It entails 5,600 miles of extreme mountain and desert terrain that will take the teams through southern Peru, across the border into Argentina and then to Chile over 15 days.