24-Year-Old Co-Driver Dies In Italian Rally

Gareth Roberts was a rising star in the rallying world, with a promising future as a co-driver to look forward to. He died on Saturday at a rally in Sicily when he and his driver, Craig Breen, crashed into a guardrail. He was 24.

Roberts and Breen had won the FIA WRC Academy Cup last year and many in the rallying world were keeping an eye on them for future performances. Their Peugeot 207 Super 2000 crashed on the fifth mile of an 11-mile stage on the Targa Florio Rally around Sicily. No other cars or any spectators were involved in the crash. Organizers then cancelled the rally as a mark of respect.

Breen said this of his co-driver.

He's kept my feet on the ground this weekend, which is not an easy job. Having to leave service for the last three stages knowing there was no possibility other than to win them all was very difficult. But he's really kept me on the straight and narrow so it's all credit to him. He's the littlest Welsh wizard but the best of them for sure.

Rallying is nowhere near as deadly as in its past, and while the cars themselves can withstand even the most spectacular crashes, road racing still poses significant dangers to everyone involved.

Photo Credit: IRC Series, Alessandro Fucarini/AP