Atar/Mauritani/Kiffa:The 11th stage of the 2005 Dakar rally was supposed to be one of the biggest and toughest legs on Tuesday. But it turned to tragedy as Fabrizio Meoni, a twice winner of the event in 2001 and 2002, crashed heavily 184 kilometres into the stage. Yamaha rider David Fretigne was on hand to call upon the emergency services, who arrived by helicopter within fifteen minutes to attend to the fallen rider. But it turned out that 47 year old Meoni's heart had stopped as a result of the incident and despite frantic efforts to revive him, the Italian died at the scene. This is the second death in two days in this year's rally. Spanish motorcyclist Jose Manuel Perez died in hospital from injuries sustained in a crash last Thursday on the rally's seventh stage.
(With wire inputs)