[BIG FAT WARNING. Electric Daisy Carnival pictures below the Jump are NSFW. Some not in a "good way" either. Read on at your own risk. Did I mention, NSFW?]
First, the recent Lucerne Valley tragedy, where the California 200, staged in the Mojave Desert, ended in disaster with at least 8 people dead, more seriously hurt, as a truck careened off the course and hit spectators, many only feet away from the racing trucks. While full coverage can be found here, what is most notable is the instinctive, and instant heroism of a young man who deserves remembrance, Andrew Therrien, only 22, who saved the lives of two children:
Derek Cox, a friend of victim Andrew Therrien, told KABC-TV in Los Angeles that Therrien, 22, pushed children out of the way as the truck barreled toward them. He was killed in the accident.
"I owe my son's life, as well as many others. They were inches away from him and he saved their lives," Cox said of the Riverside resident. "He's a hero in my book."
March said he and other fans lifted the truck, which came to rest with its oversized wheels pointing toward the sky, and found four people lying unconscious underneath.
It took rescue vehicles and helicopters more than half an hour to reach the remote location, accessible only by a rutted dirt road. Spectators said off-duty police and firefighters in the crowd joined paramedics hired by the race organizer to help the injured and place blankets over the dead.
Six people died at the scene and two others died after being taken to a hospital, authorities said. Most of the 12 injured people were airlifted to hospitals.
It is not shocking at all, that a young racing fan when faced with oncoming disaster, chose instinctively to save his own and a friend's little child. That the race was dangerous, and that conditions for years have been terrible, with spectators poorly policed, and not removed from danger, in spread-out courses with few security barriers or personnel, is of course obvious and likely to be remedied (by the sport being banned in California and on federal land).
But people did not act passively. At the link are pictures of people in the crowd lifting the truck off the injured and dead. Off-duty police and firefighters were there to enjoy the race and joined in. Children (unwisely it turns out) were present. It was an entirely different atmosphere than the other recent LA area tragedy: the Electric Daisy Carnival.
In the Electric Daisy Carnival, a 15 year old girl died from an Ecstasy overdose in the two-day rave event, held in the LA Memorial Coliseum.
Here is an example of the Electric Daisy Carnival:
Here is an example of the 2009 (not the tragedy) California 200:
Here are some of the Electric Daisy Carnival attendees, courtesy of the LA Weekly, go there and see the entire slide show (60 pictures in all):
The crowd in the California 500 is only about six or seven years older, for the most part, but the atmosphere is far different. While tattoos and flatbiller type hats and attire might include Tapout or marijuana leaves (a favorite of ravers, those living in the 909, reacted with courage and initiative when it counted most.
Those urban hipsters at the Electric Daisy carnival? Mostly carrying Elmo backpacks. [Yes, I understand the pacifiers are for protecting the teeth from grinding during an all-night dose of Ecstasy, the Elmo backpacks and stuffed animals allow petting of objects for obsessive Ecstasy takers, and the rather gay attire of the guys is there to be, well gay. All that being said, I'd rather be a Bro. For all their faults, Bros still look and act like men. The ravers, not so much.]