Exclusive: Brett Sloppy, Driver In Off-Road Race Tragedy That Killed 8, Speaks Out To CBS2

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Brett Sloppy has spent the better part of a year wondering what went wrong.

Almost a year ago, his life behind the wheel of a car took a dramatic turn. After an off-road racing tragedy in which eight spectators were killed and 12 more injured, the deaths touched off investigations, inquiries, calls for changes in the sport of off-road racing.

Many questions, few answers.

Sloppy (pronounced Slope-peey) remained silent. Until now.

sloppy Exclusive: Brett Sloppy, Driver In Off Road Race Tragedy That Killed 8, Speaks Out To CBS2

(Credit: CBS)

He sat down recently with CBS2’s Pat Harvey to discuss the horrible accident, his life since, and how he puts the pieces of that tragic day in the Mojave dessert behind him.

Or even if that is possible.

Sloppy had been gearing up for the “California 200,” a 200-mile race on a 50-mile course.

He’d been preparing to compete for nearly his entire life. He told Pat Harvey that while he hoped to win, he really just wanted to finish.

He couldn’t have possibly planned mentally for the horror that lay ahead. Sloppy does recall, seeing the spectators and believing many of them were too close to the action.

After getting out of his crashed and overturned vehicle he gasped. “That was the worst visual, worst sight of my life.”

Brett’s mother also recalled the horror. “Everybody was screaming. The screams were blood curdling screams. I had to walk over bodies to get to him.”

Sloppy, currently facing three separate lawsuits for allegedly driving recklessly,  is ready to break his silence. “I didn’t want to hide,” he says, “I wanted to get out and say my apologies and talk to these family members.”

  • http://losangelesforme.com/2011/07/exclusive-we-talk-with-driver-in-off-road-race-tragedy-that-killed-8/ Exclusive: We Talk With Driver In Off-Road Race Tragedy That Killed 8 | Los Angeles for Me

    […] Brett Sloppy has spent the better part of a year wondering what went wrong. More from: http://losangeles.cbslocal.com… […]

  • Bryan Wilson


    • rick

      your a moron the video of the whole thing was shown by every major news the day after it happen

    • SHIggity


    • Chris

      Are you serious?? The video actually shows how stupid people are standing that close to a track to where the drivers vision is impaired by the dust, plus at the speed those trucks are moving fast, so it was their own fault for being that close and their families would not be grieving if they had not been ignorant and dumb! I have no pity for stupidity……

      • wrathofgod

        See what I mean about the low ethical standards in this community? Absolutely no respect for life. Why do tax payer dollars support this activity?

  • Robyn


    • eric

      whats wrong with the video?? it hardly shows anything if you call that graphic then your a wuss

    • Levert

      It is real life, you don’t need a warning. Stop being so sensitive. It will not be the first death your daughter sees anyway. Time to start de-sensitizing and welcoming here to the real world!

    • ArmyStud

      Give a Warning??? Hhmm get real.. they always say “Coming Up next” or “Up Next” even “In The Next Hour” So I guess your daughter cant understand english!!!!

    • Christopher

      Boo hoo

    • Christopher

      It’s kind of scary to think you even have a daughter.

  • Robyn


    • TTR125RIDER

      And what…your ignorant comments will!?!?!

    • YOUR MOM

      SHUT UP LOSER!! AND STOP WITH THE CAPS LOCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Brandi Hearst

      why is your kids watching videos on the computer… why don’t you step up and be a parent instead of blaming everyone for your kids actions.

    • Desertgirl

      You need to relax and watch your comments. Everyone has choices in life. Even a year after the crash my heart goes out to the families involved and the driver as well. however all the people made a choice to stand close to the track where there was a race going on this was an unforseen ACCIDENT and by any means not intentional. Please keep you comment to yourself.

      • wrathofgod

        You are just so wrongly in denial. This was not an accident. As you say about choices, Sloppy choise to keep accellerating for his own selfish pleasure. No one had a gun to his head. EIGHT people are dead!! It was his choice to keep going. No sympathy for him here, especially after he crawled over the body of an injured person to try to get away, What a creep!

      • Mark

        wrathofgod are you serious? “Sloppy chose to keep accelerating for his own selfish pleasure,” what are you talking about? Sloppy is not at fault at all

        “Perhaps you are just ethically incapable of understanding the difference between the values of winning and human life?” Perhaps you’re to much of an idiot to understand that a person is responsible for there on life. It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out that standing next to a RACE course at the bottom of a jump on the outside of a turn is a bad idea.

        PS- learn to spell you dumb-ass.

      • wrathofgod

        Oh, did he have a gun to his head or just visions of “just finishing the race?’ He didn’t finish did he? He could have not finished wihtout killing and maiming people. too. He saw that vulnerable crowd, but he never said his foot hit the brake. He didn’t care, otherwise he would have put his personal needs aside to save a life and put on the brake. What don’t you get about the fact that he saw all of those vulnerable people and made the decision to keep going. NO one had a gun to his head. He was the one with the lethal weapon.

      • john

        ahaha is your screen name really wrathofgod?ahahaha

      • wrathofgod

        Finally, someone who gets the irony. ; )

      • wrathofgod

        Still waiting of the video of the gun to Sloppy’s head…let me know when it posts.

      • Erin18

        You are such an idiot… I think the only people ready to point a gun is at you for being a F*#&ING MORON!!

      • Nick

        Who ever you are you are really annoying me and you do seem like a stupid person that would sue over something that you personally choose to do. If I was in a crash I know I would be concerned about my safety first. It’s just like any crash in Motorsports the driver and safety team no matter who they are go help the driver, I’ve seen it in every Motorsports crash its not due to him being a creep. I also feel like if some one came to you and hit you that you would sue for some stupid reason like ” I had sever personal trauma that prevented me from working” you use excuses to get away with life instead of honoring your decisions and choices. And excuse my spelling I’m on my phone.

      • Mark

        Are you referring to me Nick?

      • Nick

        No the idot that keeps pushing man slaughter down our throats. I think everyone knows who that is !!

    • Desertgirl

      Seriously your an idiot. There’s no denial here. I’ve been around offroad for 13 years your negative comments are not need. Grow up and get a life. You must not know anything about offroad for you to continue your negative un wanted comments. All of the people involved made there life decision unfortunate it happened.

      • wrathofgod

        I see the off road criminal tresspass all the time. Ethics are in short supply in this community. I live out in the wild desert and the idiots on orvs think the whole world is theirs to tear up.

      • RIP

        So its ok for the people of this world to build on and destroy the land of this earth then? Each and every day I see a new area of nature being completely torn up by bulldozers and graders to build a new mall or housing development? And that is ok? But its not ok for us to go out and enjoy the little bit of nature that is left, we have less of an impact then a construction company leveling out 100 acres for a new shopping complex every ten mins

      • Brandi Hearst

        exactly!!!! There are more empty new homes in my community then imaginable. They killed 100’s of desert tortoises to build homes that aren’t even sold, yet they say we can not race out here in las vegas./henderson on most of the land because of the tortoise going extinct. That makes a lot of sense!

      • wrathofgod

        Well hop on your orv and see if you can kill the last few that are out there. You go giorl. Kill them all – and try to do it today okay? Low ethical standards, again!!

      • TWOCENTS

        Wrath — I would think that this tragedy would please you; you must see it as God’s way of thinning the herd (or the like). Desert = devine retribution.

    • Mike

      You’re a complete moron. To bad you were not the one ran over, this world would be a better place without you in it!

    • joe

      andrew should has used his head and not been standing there.

  • Nick

    I’m standing on both CBS and Brett Sloppy side for showing the footage even more the footage from his race truck. It’s vital footage that no one has seen from the out side of his truck and from the drivers seat. It helps show what what going on when he went threw the rock pile. I also believe that Brent Sloopy shouldn’t be in a lawsuit even more for driving recklessly it’s an offroad race and the spectators knew what the offroad racing is and how it can be dangerous. I had a guy that I knew who died but it was because he tried to save others now that is completely different then a large group standing around on the back side of a rock jump. People who follow offroad racing should know to keep there distance due to it being an offraod race and that accidents do happen. A part of me has no pitty for them if they knew they were too close to the course, some of them made bad decisions and lost there life or body parts from it and that should be a reminder to keep a safe distance. I’m done with this !

  • Tim

    Yes, this was a tragic accident and, in the aftermath, Mrs. Sloppy had to “walk over bodies” to get to her “baby”, Brent, who had to crawl out of his wrecked truck, “over a guy who looked bad.” I dunno…just didn’t sound like the thing to say, when you were the party who caused the “mayhem.”

    And, Brent; when you go to court, show some respect and concern for those families who lost a loved one in this accident; tone down your earrings and spin your hat around frontwards.

    • Karen

      Betty – I feel sorry for you if this is the only thing you can say. It’s probably a typo. Get over it and get into life.

    • Rose

      Thank you! One of the mom’s of a victims.

      • wrathofgod

        Eric’s reply points out the low ethical standards that hold sway in this community. Why the BLM supports these activities with taxpayer dollars is beyond me.

      • eric

        how would you two morons suggest he get out of the truck if not crawl over any bodys in the way i would have but my size 10 boot square on their dumb ass after all it was the victims faults they were dead in the first place anyone who stand right at the edge of a race path is askin to get their ass run over i blame the victims totally not the driver

      • uncle butt

        I was there. The truck came to a stop less then half a truck length out of the racing line. The spectators were too close. Seeing the video took my breath away. This accident was not the drives fault. Don’t attack him because you don’t like how he looks. Everyone that’s bashing him are idiots. I had friends that had the truck go over them and they say they Wrecks too close. My nephew had someone die in his hands.

    • Mike

      Hey Tim, show us all respect and shut your mouth.

  • Erin

    Well Tim,
    Maybe if you we’re in his shoes, or his mothers shoes ( if your a parent) your reply would be diffrent.
    Dont judge a book by his cover, and he has the freedom to wear whatever he wants.
    He lives with this grief every morning, every day, every moment.
    I have nothing but 110% percent respect and support for him, and I feel that way with most of the off road community. With that being said, he didnt “purposely” cause the mayhem, it’s called an ACCIDENT.
    At a moment like that, everyone probably would have had the same reaction. IF my child were spectating or racing.
    and with the footage, personally I think that was a little too much…
    replays that day and havent gotten much sleep.
    I have nothing but respect for brett, and everyone who was lost, injured, or attended that race. We all will never forget.

    • mike

      You are a f-ing idiot with no comprehension of what motorsports are. Although by your screen name I’m not surprised by your backwards thinking.

      • wrathofgod

        Your ideas are certainly different. I bet you would love to see the gladiators of Rome return with their carnage – on chariots of course!! When did sports become a place to throw away ethics and hold human life at a lower value than winning? When did it become a place to lie on applications and neglect to have the medical aide staff on hand and control the crowd?

        Are you that big bully Mike froim Landers?

      • Mike

        I have no idea who Mike from Landers is. But if he has common sense like I do then he sounds like a great guy. I find it funny how you think motorsports and the off-road community is at fault here. It’s the stupid ass people who stood mere feet from a RACE COURSE and then were surprised when a RACE vehicle came by at a high rate a speed. And when something went wrong, as ALWAYS happens at ANY race they have audacity to think they are entitled to some kind of compensation.

        I bet you are the kind of person who would sue SDG&E for getting shocked when they stick there finger in a light socket.

        People are responsible for there own safety. If they jump from a plane with out a parachute they deserve their fate. If they stand right next to a race course, they deserve the consequences.

      • Rose

        Why do you make the assumption that all the victims were within feet of the race course. What about the individuals that were in the path of the vehicle when it rolled?? Does anyone know how many feet it rolled away from the course?

      • Erin18

        It didn’t roll… It flipped onto its roof is all It didnt “keep rolling …. And yes, everyone was tooo close there were people saying they were right behind the truck when it stopped who were back where they should have been and they weren’t hurt…

  • BD McGee

    Hey Robyn
    Try not typing in all caps, it makes your illiteracy more obvious. And trying being a responsible parent. I feel for your daughter. With an idiot like you for a mother she has no chance in life.

  • Karen

    I feel sorry for those who died but THEY WERE TOO CLOSE TO THE TRACK. It’s a tragedy that happened.

    God bless their families and give Brett the strength to move forward. He did not cause this accident and is not to blame.

    And some of you need to grow up. That footage is no worse than in movies or tv. I barely saw a thing anyway there was so much dust.

    • Lisa Cassel

      True. True True. I know this family well, iIjust posted a comment from my phone with my real name… yet to see it…. but you said what I feel in much fewer words yet perfect! Thank you for seeing life in color. I hope I dont have to retype it all again but I will If I need to.

      • Karen

        That is nice of you to say Lisa. I wish Brett and his family well. I also pray for the families who lost loved ones.

  • mike

    I can’t believe the stupid mother f-ers that think they have a right to sue. Its an off-road race. Its the spectators responsibility to watch from a safe location. Natural selection wins again.

    • Brandi Hearst

      wrath of god….what are you talking about the tax payers dollars? The BLM makes it ridiculously hard to get a race going, they make money on it even! There are no tax dollars being used. Everyone has a right to do what he/she pleases. Just because you don’t like it doesn’t mean everyone else can not do it. What does off road racing have to do with bad community ethics? There are bad ethics everywhere, don’t hate the off roading community,

    • Earl

      It’s not about the suits or the injuries. People died because of stupidity. And speaking of ignorance, it is not taxpayer dollars supporting this. It is paid for by the permits that the promoters pay for to be allowed to race on public lands. Brett was taking part in a sanctioned race. He should not be held responsible. There have been accidents in NASCAR, Indy car racing, Tractor pulls and monster truck shows. Have any of those drivers been involved in a suit against them? I doubt it. If you would take the time and get to one of these races, you will find that the offroad community is a big family. As far as the law suits, money will not bring these people back. It was unfortunate, but also unfotunate that a bunch of money mongering lawyers are looking for a big payday on this, and exploiting the families. Probably taking 30-40% plus expenses. There is a precedent in California that you are responsible for being aware of your surroundings. If these people were following the law, they would not be dead. I have been involved in this sport for almost 20 years. I have seen accidents before, however, I have never witnessed anything like this. I remember a guy getting hit in Laughlin years ago while taking pictures. Two unlimited trucks came over a jump and touched midair causing one to get sideways. Because he was standing on the course taking pictures, he got hit and went flying. Fortunately, he just got bangged up a bit and was able to walk away. Point is, if he was where he should have been instead of on the race course, he would have not been hit. The point is that you need to be responsible for your own self. It is not up to anyone else to hold your hand. Sorry for the rant.

    • Mike

      How do tax payer dollars pay for desert racing?would you stand on the yellow line on the freeway. Think about,common sence people just don’t have it. But they do have lawyers.

  • Chet Williams

    Deathsploitation. You must be proud. Didn’t know Murdoch ran your news group too.

  • bajaman

    It wasn’t the drivers fault. The crowd was WAY too close to the track. why do people have such a hard time realizing that. When bulls jump the fence and injure or kill spectators the bull fighter is not getting sued. I guess everybody needs money…. some, given the oppertunity, will sue EVERYBODY trying to make a dime. I just hope the money makes them feel better about losing a family member.

  • bajaman

    And people stop judging him by the way he looks. Grow up. You look silly with your head up your a$$.

  • bajaman

    I still say the crowd was at fault… too damn close. Organizers responsibility to keep the crowds back. The driver is there doing what he PAID to do. PAID to do it responsibly and in a sanctioned event. I could understand if he was rippin through the desert and plowed into some un suspecting campers. But the people were spectators that were on the track! Personally wasn’t there that day, but still smart enough to know you can not touch the cars as they go by. These people in the crowd were trying to hurt somebody and make them crash… I think it just backfired. Good day all. Please don’t blame or judge… it’s not our job. Peace.

    • Brandi Hearst

      bajaman, i highly doubt he is paid, ad if he is paid it isn’t even going to add up to the cost of running the truck.

      • wrathofgod

        You folks are unreal. Any money he gets should go to help the the other 12 people who were sent to the hospital. Their bills need to be paid, Your low ethical standards have you worried about repairing that lethal weapon. Only someone with no feelings could jump back in that death wagon happily. And that would be someone from the orv community, You bet!!

  • Eddie

    its a very sad situation and I feel bad for the families who lost loved ones, but any off road racing fan knows there are 2 places you should never stand. This part of the course consisted of both parts; after a jump and on the outside of a turn.
    Most your comments are simply uneducated remarks. Before you comment on things make sure you know and understand the sport and what happened.

    I know what happened and saw it first hand.

  • 1stman

    Well at least he isn’t an illegal, right guys?

  • Desertgirl

    Seriously wrathofgod,

    Get off your high horse and come back to the real world. You keep mentioning that he left his foot on the throttle IT’S WAS A RACE. What does race mean: ” to go, move, or function at top SPEED or out of control…” (merriam webster) hmmm wonder why his foot was on the gas dumb a**. And didn’t know that the blm, police, drivers in the race needed to police the every people or person who were standing close to the track. They should know the risk there getting themselves into. Sorry to be so insensitive but everyone is responsible for there own action if they choose to stand that close to the action then the consequence to tha action can and was devastating for some. Please keep you ride inceptive comment to yourself and GROW UP.

    • Brandi Hearst

      thank you desert girl…. my thoughts exactly

    • Brandi Hearst

      you act like it was purposeful. you are an idiot.

    • wrathofgod

      Perhaps you are just ethically incapable of understanding the difference between the values of winning and human life???

      • Desertgirl

        Wrathofgod REALLY…..

        Wow maybe you have some under line issue or are a left wing idiot. I undertstand racing been around it my whole life people. I really have nothing else to say cause obviously your never going to see all sides being that your pea size brain doesnt understand it so have your self a fantastic day and maybe one day you’ll see it was an ACCIDENT…

        Oh one thing this isn’t the first race accident that has killed people in the world of RACING.. Educate yourself might be good for you. Have a great life a$$..

  • johndoe

    wrathofgod = overcast????

    • Earl

      BWAHHHHAAAHHHAAAA!!!! Didn’t even think of that. Overcast=dip$h*t. Funny Johndoe!

    • Erin18

      Yes I think sooo!!! Or at least they have to be related!!!

  • RIP

    For a few of you, all I have to say is that your ignorant and pathetic.

    1st of all this was a race.
    2nd of all Brett stated he started to slow down as he came upon a slower truck before the jump.
    3rd he had no chance to help anyone because he was immediately escorted off the course.
    Finally if you had just watched your son or family member crash, would you run too see if they were still alive first or stop and check and see if everyone else was okay before running for your loved one? Its a natural instinct for a person to run and look for the one they love in a time of tragedy.

    This was an ACCIDENT they happen every day and every minute of our life. People were to close and that’s it. If you have never been in a vehicle and had a steering wheel ripped out of your hand or had something uncontrollable happen, there is nothing you can do. Brett was responsible he made sure to shut off his fuel supply, batteries, ignition, etc to make sure nothing else could happen. For him to be able to think of doing this after the accident is incredible, because the average person would of panicked and the end result could of been a lot worse if a fire or explosion occurred.

    This was a tragic event, and my heart and prayers go out to the lost, injured, affected, and Brett. For those lost RIP, and those still dealing with this keep your heads high because we will get through this one day at a time. Show some respect for Brett and his mother for coming out on public television for this interview, that was courageous! For the rest of you with your negative comments and biased opinions..I have no words for you.

    • wrathofgod

      I still say this is an activity with low ethical standards. When unhurt people walk, crawl, and jump over the bodies of the injured, there is something VERY wrong. How anyone could be so unfeeling after slaughtering so many people is an indication of low ethical standards. That mother could see her son, she knew he was standing when she jumped over the bodies of the injured to get to him. Fine family.

      The esxcuse that he was “escorted away” holds no value. The driver, his mother and his team were all just fine and not in the least concrened about the injured. The mother was only concerned about hiding her son, not helping anyone else. How can a boy grow up compassionate if that is the kind of example he sees. Such shameful behavior.

      • Brandi Hearst

        wrathofgod….your are all high and mighty aren’t you? There is nothing unethical about the sport. You can hate on the actions of others, but you can not give everyone involved in the sport the unethical label. These people don’t do it for money or for fame, they do it because they love racing. What is it that you do that makes you so dam ethical anyway? Do you work for free, or hand out all of your hard earned dollars to homeless people on every corner? What do you do that helps out members in your community?

  • BEN

    cbs should have never shown that footage!!! i hope ur building collapses. RIP andrew, and all the others. def was not sloppy’s fault LET SLOPPY RACE

    • Mike

      Apparently you have not looked in the mirroe lately. If you would, the only LOWLIFE you would see would be in the mirror.


    • wrathofgod

      Truth hurts, MIke. And you have been left angry and yowling like a scalded cat.

      THis is a trash activity with low ethical standards, That is why this tragedy happened.

  • Corey

    this website blows… you have to much going on and the damn video keeps refreshing, get your web department in check or your website will for ever be at the bottom… 8-14-10


    I refer to my comments on the youtube video; this is not Brett’s fault at all. He is a seasoned and highly skilled driver. There is always that unknown element (i.e. “steering wheel jerked out of my hands…”) that “you” have to account for in racing. By “you,” I mean the spectators, they are responsible as well. Shame on MDR and/or BLM for turning the focus onto Brett in order to take it off of them. They had a legal responsibility to enforce crowd control, especially in the larger spectators spots like Rock Pile, and they failed to do so. People congregate here because if there is going to be a crash THIS is where it will be, everyone knows that (incl. officials). Many of us lost a friend or family member, incl. us, but this is an equal parts fault situation — equal parts spectators for standing too close, equal part MDR and/or BLM for lack of crowd control. Any suit against Brett has zero merit, especially when it involves those standing too close at a “spectate at your OWN risk” sport. To drag him through this all over again is foolish and heartless. P/S: assclown who says this was manslaughter, pull your head out. We see news clips day in and day out where people are killed in ACCIDENTS by no fault of the driver and the driver is not charged, as it was not his fault. Being off pavement makes it no different. It drives me crazy when you get the “gotta get my two cents in on a topic I know absolutely nothing about because I’m Mr. Know It All….” If you don’t know the sport, don’t know the in-and-outs of it, and don’t know the liabilities of being involved in it, keep your two damn cents to yourself and instead spend it on buying a damn clue.

  • Bigfoot

    People should slow down at those things



  • nascar sucks

    with a name like sloppy he sure lives up to it
    he looks like a sloppy wet fool
    he should go to jail for 88 yrs

    • Mike

      And you should be anally raped for 88 years!

      • wrathofgod

        Another example of the low ethical standards of this community. Just looks at what MIke wants fot others who disagree with him. SOUNDS LIKE he would be the first to line up to rape the guy.

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