PROVO — The CEO of Utah County-based home security company Vivint was back in the United States Monday following a weekend crash during a race in Mexico that resulted in the death of an 8-year-old boy.
Juan Manuel Yepiz, spokesman for the State Attorney's office in Ensenada, Baja, said Todd Pedersen was released from custody Sunday after reportedly being detained by authorities following the crash. A spokeswoman for Vivint confirmed Monday that Pedersen was back in the United States.
On Saturday, Pedersen was driving an off-road truck in the 48th annual SCORE Baja 500 near Ensenada. About a half-mile from the start, his vehicle failed to negotiate a sharp turn. Videos posted on YouTube from spectators show the truck sliding down a steep embankment and into a ravine where spectators were watching the race.
According to a statement released Sunday from race officials, "Racer Todd Pedersen, Orem, Utah, while negotiating a turn entering the Ensenada wash and attempting to avoid some fans, eventually hit three spectators."
Three people, including an 8-year-old boy, were injured. The boy was transported to an Ensenada hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival. The boy's mother was hospitalized with head and leg injuries but was reported in stable condition Sunday, race officials said. Information on the third victim was not immediately available.
The race course was lined with spectators. On social media, many people reacted to the crash by citing a lack of crowd control, noting that others have crashed in years past on the same curve that Pedersen slid off and that it was not an area where spectators should have been standing.
Race officials declined Sunday to say whether the crowd was inside or outside the designated spectator area. Ensenada Municipal Police were still investigating the incident.
Yepiz said Monday that the incident would likely be classified as a bad accident and not an intentional criminal act, but that it was still an "open process" and that authorities in Mexico would continue to investigate whether negligence was involved.
He said the investigation could also be resolved if Pedersen reaches a monetary settlement with those involved in the crash. If the families decline the settlement, the investigation would continue, Yepiz said.
Pedersen released a brief statement Sunday regarding the crash.
"I'm devastated by the tragic accident that happened this weekend. My heart goes out to the family at this time," he said.
Contributing: Paul Nelson
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